Skip to main content

Full text of "People called Baptists"

See other formats


286 M14 

McDanicI, George White, 

The people called Baptists, 

William Carey College 

3 6781 00011621 3 

J Mo 

miililiii! I^^^^l 


, , ! 













--"cA'^£>' , 




I. E. Rouse Memorial Library 
William Carey College 

Hottiesbiirg. ^^ssissippi 

The People Called Baptists 



Author of "Our Boys in France" 

The Sunday School Board 


Southern Baptist Convention 
Nashville, Tenn. 

Copyright, 1919, 
Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convertion. 





Digitized by the Internet Arcliive 

in 2010 witli funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 


This book contains a vigorous statement of the 
principles and history of the People Called Baptists. 
It also rings clear and loud with a call to these same 
people to vindicate their glorious doctrines by equally 
glorious deeds. The author is well and widely known 
for his strong grip on any subject he handles, and for 
an awakening and captivating style. These qualities 
are pregnant throughout the pages of this book. 
The author has a message. He knows well what it is. 
He believes it is worth delivering, and he does it in 
an earnest, forthwith way. He is not ornate. He is 
too earnest to be. 

There is a fine tonic in the pages of this book for 
the sleepy, come-easy, go-easy souls, desiring above 
all things to prevent anything out of the dull ordinary 
from happening. 

The Baptist people are vindicated in their origin, 
history and achievements. Their principles are set 
out with admirable frankness, clearness and in ex- 
cellent temper. 

The author sets the Baptists right on the Union 
question, on their loyalty to government, and gives 
them high praise for their age-long devotion to the 
principle of full and equal religious liberty to all. 

His treatment of the aggression of the government 
on the liberties of Baptists and others during the war 
just ending is timely and very forceful. Things 


have gone far wrong at Washington along religious 
lines, and this volume discusses very vigorously the 
principles involved. Dr. McDaniel makes the matter 
plain. He calls the government down, as we all must 

The whole assembly of discussions is calculated to 
inform and stimulate the Baptist people, and will 
make excellent reading for other peoples, multitudes 
of whom dreadfully need to know what is so lucidly 
stated in this volume. "The People Called Baptists" 
is a present-day book. It covers present truths, 
especially needed now when so many are trying to 
obscure the truth by enveloping the whole land in a 
dense fog of sentimentalism. Dr. McDaniel is pastor 
of the great old First Baptist Church, Richmond, 
Virginia, than which there is perhaps not a greater 
church in the land, and he in this book invites the 
public to sit down at the same table with his home- 
folks and eat out of the same dishes. My hope is 
there will be a full table, for the food prepared is 
calculated to make all who partake of it strong. 
There is much good meat here for people of sound 


Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort 
Worth, Texas. 


Horace Greeley, commenting upon Solomon's "Of 
making many books there is no end," once remarked 
"Though there is happily a speedy end of most books 
after they are made." Publishers can verify Mr. 
Greeley's statement. Why, then, venture this book? 

The eagerness with which my own congregation 
sought for copies of doctrinal discussions; the pro- 
posal of a far-seeing layman that a book be written 
on the position of Baptists in the present crisis; the 
application by many for the presentation, in tract 
form, of an address delivered before the Baptist Coun- 
cil of Richmond; the misunderstanding of Baptist 
tenets by Christians of other denominations; and a 
renewed conviction of our duty to teach and to train 
our growing constituency; these facts, briefly stated, 
explain the appearance of this volume. 

In other decades Baptists were better indoc- 
trinated than they are to-day. The environment in 
which they lived, sometimes inimicable to them, was 
conducive to the mastery of their principles. Of later 
years, a tendency to depreciate doctrinal discussion 
is easily discernible, and young converts particularly 
are not rooted and grounded in the faith. Modern 
nonchalance acts as if it made little difference what 
one believes. With cavalier air it belittles the man who 
has the temerity to make a denominational affirma- 
tion. The opinion of the author is that character 


and destiny are determined by what one believes and 
that a faith not worth fighting for is not worth having. 
Herein are adduced the considerations that make 
Baptists a pecuHar people; herein are narrated some 
of their achievements; and herein is discussed their 
proper attitude towards the issues of the day. To 
detail my indebtedness for these contents is useless 
and impossible. Former teachers, cherished friends, 
and various books have been very helpful. Probably 
there are sources to which I am unconsciously under 
obligation. If this book is of God, it will live; if it 
is not, I should want it to die. 

The People Called Baptists 

I. Who They Are: What They Have 

Done 11 

II. Their Distinguishing Beliefs 38 

III. The Initial Christian Ordinance. ... 61 

IV. The Recurrent Church Ordinance. . . 80 

V. What Others Say About Them 105 

VI. State and Church: A Present Prob- 
lem 124 

VII. Their Position in the Twentieth 

Century 138 

VIII. The Challenge of the Changing 

Order 158 

The People Called Baptists 


The name "Christians" was first appHed, 
in derision, to the followers of Christ, by 
enemies at Antioch. The name "Baptists" 
was first given, in ridicule, by Pedo-baptist 
opponents of the people who rejected the bap- 
tism of babes. Both names, like the cross, 
have been changed from marks of shame to 
badges of honor. 

The distinguishing principles of the people 
first called "Christians" and now called 
"Baptists" are: 

1. The Scriptures, the only authoritative 
guide-book for our religious life. There may 
be no appeal from, or addition to, their pre- 
cepts and principles. 

2 . The individual and direct access of every 
soul to God; none between man and God, 
save only the God-man. 

3. The complete separation of Church and 
State in their respective fields; the Church 


dealing with religious, the State with civil 

4. The simple polity of the church's govern- 
ment; each church autonomous and a 
democracy in itself. 

5. The baptism of believers only, or a re- 
generate church membership. Incidentally, 
they believe in baptism by immersion only, 
according to the Scriptures, as symbolizing 
the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; 
and that the Lord's Supper is a church ordi- 

A Noble Ancestry. 

To be well born is to enter life with ad- 
vantage. Baptists are justly proud of their 
parentage — the New Testament. They have 
an ancient and scriptural origin. Certain 
characters in history are named as founders 
of various denominations: The Disciples be- 
gan with Alexander Campbell, the Metho- 
dists with John Wesley, the Presbyterians 
with John Calvin, the Lutherans with Martin 
Luther, and the Church of England with 
Henry VIII and Cranmer's Book of Common 
Prayer in the reign of Edward VI. Not so 


with the Baptists. There is no personality 
this side of Jesus Christ who is a satisfactory 
explanation of their origin. The New Testa- 
ment churches were independent, self-govern- 
ing, democratic bodies like the Baptist 
churches of to-day. We originated, not at 
the Reformation, nor in the Dark Ages, nor 
in any century after the Apostles, but our 
marching orders are the Commission, and the 
first Baptist church was the church at Jeru- 
salem. Our principles are as old as Chris- 
tianity, and we acknowledge no founder 
but Christ. 

An Honorable History. 

Character is determined by ideals and 
achievements. If we would know the place 
of Baptists, we must consider their historic 
greatness, their heroic fidelity to human 
liberty and their part in the life of the world. 
Our principles develop a type of character 
and life which tends to make men potent 
factors in achievements worth while. 

Baptists have been pioneers in so many 
fields that to enumerate these might seem to 


assume a braggart spirit. But a statement 
of irrefutable facts must be taken as dis- 
passionate and impartial. Baptists have al- 
ways been champions of civil and religious 
liberty. Roger Williams, who took ground 
in advance of his Puritan compeers on the 
subject of personal liberty, being banished 
from the colony of Massachusetts, went to 
the present site of Providence, Rhode Island, 
where he founded what is regarded by some 
as the first Baptist Church in America, and 
the first commonwealth on earth in which 
there was absolute civil and religious liberty. 
The framers of the Constitution of the United 
States caught the spirit of Roger Williams 
and as a result we have a country which has 
been the refuge of the persecuted and op- 
pressed of all nations. Article VI. on re- 
ligious liberty in the American Constitution 
was introduced into it by the united effort 
of Baptists in 1789. The first amendment to 
the Constitution of the United States, guar- 
anteeing freedom of speech, freedom of re- 
ligion, and the right to petition, was adopted 
largely through the activity of Baptists. 
They took the initiative in a letter to President 


Washington and a month later Madison, with 
Washington's approval, presented the amend- 

John Clarke, highly educated in arts and 
in medicine, the most outright and upright, 
important and influential American Baptist 
of the seventeenth century, did more than 
anyone else to call the attention of the world 
to Puritan intolerance. He secured the 
Charter of 1643 which made Rhode Island 
a free democratic State with full provision 
for liberty of conscience, and he was the 
originator of the public free school system. 
He founded the Newport church, which, for 
consistent and persistent devotion to Baptist 
principles, for completeness of organization 
and fervor in evangelism, deserves the 

The father of modern missions was William 
Carey, an English Baptist. In thirty years 
he and his co-laborers made the Word of God 
accessible to a third of the people of the globe . 
He was "one of England's greatest men, 
doing more to make the India of to-day than 
Clive or Hastings, and contributing to the 


making of England hardly less than John 

Organic foreign missions in America began 
with the "American Board of Commissioners 
for Foreign Missions" (1810). Two of these 
were Adoniram Judson and Luther Rice. 
Judson and his wife, studying their Greek 
New Testament, became convinced that the 
immersion of a professing believer is the only 
Christian baptism. They were baptized by 
a Baptist missionary in India. Rice, upon 
reaching his destination, arrived at a similar 
conclusion. Luther Rice is noted as a mis- 
sionary and the founder of the old Columbian 
College, Washington, D. C, and Adoniram 
Judson is the foremost name in the annals of 
American missions. 

The first president of Harvard College was 
Henry Dunster, who, by his enthusiasm and 
by sacrificing his means and health for its 
interest, brought the college into a position 
exceeding the hopes of its best friends. He 
lost his office because of his espousal of Bap- 
tist views. The largest early benefactors 
of Harvard College were Thomas Hollis, a 
wealthy English Baptist, and his descendants. 


He founded the HoUis Chair of Theology, the 
first in the United States. 

The man who snatched the Southwest from 
Mexico and handed back to the United States 
what is now Texas, part of New Mexico, 
Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming 
was General Sam Houston, a loyal Baptist. 
Nathaniel Macon, pronounced by John Ran- 
dolph and John Jay among the very wisest 
of men they had known and whom Randolph 
in his last days called the best and purest 
man he had ever met, was a Baptist. 

President Abraham Lincoln attributed all 
that he was to a Baptist mother. President 
Jefferson Davis devoted the ground where he 
was born in Kentucky as the site for a 
Baptist Church and it is so used now. At 
the dedication of the building he delivered 
an address and stated that perhaps some 
people wondered why he, who was not a 
Baptist, should be so interested in that faith. 
He explained thus: "My father, who was a 
better man than I am, was a Baptist." Henry 
Clay, President Arthur and Justice Hughes 
were the sons of Baptist preachers. William 
Jennings Bryan's and William Howard Taft's 


fathers were Baptists. General Madison, 
brother of President Madison, was a Baptist; 
so was Mrs. Woodson, the favorite aunt of 
Jefferson. Thomas, when young, loved to 
visit her house in Goochland County and to 
attend the Baptist Church with her. Major 
General Tasker Bliss, one of the American 
peace commissioners at Versailles, is the son 
of a former professor in Rochester Theological 
Seminary. Major General William Graves, 
head of the American forces in Russia, is a 
Baptist and a graduate of Baylor University. 
Lloyd-George, who piloted the British ship 
of State through the stormy seas of the world's 
worst war, says of himself: "I am a Baptist." 

Bible societies were originated first by a 
Baptist, Joseph Hughes. The International 
Uniform Sunday School Lesson System is due 
to a Baptist layman of Chicago, B. F. Jacobs. 
The first Sunday School paper for young 
people in the United States, "The Young 
Reaper," was established by Baptists. The 
Baraca movement was started by a Baptist 
layman. Marshal A. Hudson. 

Sir Henry Havelock, the valiant British 
general and the deliverer of Lucknow, united 


with the Baptists of India and was baptized 
by one of Carey's fellow missionaries. In 
Cromwell's Irish garrisons there were twelve 
Baptist governors of cities, ten colonels, three 
lieutenant-colonels, ten majors, and forty- 
three company officers. In the War of the 
Commonwealth in England and the War of 
the Revolution in the United States, Baptists 
were all patriots. 

Among the many Baptists who rendered 
military service in the Revolution, a few con- 
spicuous names may be mentioned. Pastor 
M'Clanahan, of Culpeper County, Virginia, 
raised a military company of Baptists and 
served on the field, both as captain and 
chaplain. Reverend David Barrow shoul- 
dered his musket and showed how fields were 
won. Colonel Jacob Houghton, grandfather 
of Spencer Cone, was in a Baptist meeting- 
house when the news of the defeat of Lexing- 
ton reached him. The services ended, he 
stood in the open before the building and 
spoke: "Men of New Jersey, the Red Coats are 
murdering our brethren in New England. 
Who follows me to Boston?" Every man 
stepped into line and answered, "I." General 


Scriven, when ordered by the British officer 
to give up Sunbury, near Savannah, sent back 
the answer, "Come and take it." Deacon 
Mills, of the First Baptist Church of Phila- 
delphia, commanded skilfully one thousand 
riflemen at the battle of Long Island and for 
his valor was made a brigadier general. 
Deacon Loxley, of the same church, com- 
manded the artillery at the battle of German- 
town with the rank of colonel. "He was al- 
ways foremost when great guns were in ques- 
tion." Add to this galaxy John Hart, who 
signed the Declaration of Independence, and 
John Brown, whose fleet of privately owned 
vessels attacked the Gaspee which had entered 
Narragansett Bay to enforce British reve- 
nue customs. Lieutenant Duddington was 
wounded, the other officers and the crew left 
and the Gaspee was blown up. "This was the 
first British blood shed in the War of Inde- 
pendence," In their list of Tory sympa- 
thizers made up by Judge Curwen appear 
nine hundred and twenty-six names living in 
America, and a larger number were already 
exiled by Colonial law, but there is not the 
name of one Baptist on the list. This is why 


President Washington, in his letter to the 
Baptists, could pay them the just tribute: 
"I recollect with satisfaction that the religious 
societies of which you are a member have 
been, throughout America, uniformly and 
almost unanimously, the firm friends to civil 
liberty, and the persevering promoters of our 
glorious Revolution . " It explains how Thomas 
Jefferson could write to a Baptist Church, 
"We have acted together from the origin to 
the end of a memorable Revolution." 

Baptists are renowned the world over for 
their loyalty. At the coronation of the late 
Czar at Moscow, May 15, 1895, fear filled 
all hearts, and it was not known who was 
loyal. Someone told a prominent officer that 
he could trust the Baptists. Many of them 
were therefore chosen, some of whom had just 
returned from exile and were drafted for this 
special service. William of Orange was sus- 
tained in the gloomiest hours of his struggles 
for the Dutch Republic by the sympathy and 
aid of the Baptists. He testified to their 
loyalty, industry and virtue. 

Baptist loyalty to country has met the test 
in the present war. State and General Con- 


ventions, without exception, have rung true 
in patriotic resolutions. Our churches have 
backed the war with their money and their 
members. Pacifist pastors were few and with- 
out weight in the councils of the denomination 
or churches. Hundreds of ministers have 
served in various capacities, some as military 
combatants. Patriotic fervor burned in the 
Theological Seminaries and their students 
enlisted in large proportions. Our sons went 
to war by the ten thousands, and they went 
with the benediction of the denomination 
upon their heads. Our daughters donned and 
adorned the Red Cross and alleviated human 
suffering. The soil of France is enriched with 
Baptist blood, America's name is made 
more glorious by Baptist devotion. And all 
of this was done in spite of certain govern- 
mental acts which we could not and did not 

The Christian pulpit has been occupied by 
able and eloquent Baptists. Alexander Mc- 
Laren, famous as the greatest biblical ser- 
monizer of a century; F. B. Meyer, whose 
preaching and writing have circled the globe; 
A. J. Gordon, who has been called a titanic 


expounder of God's Word; Andrew Fuller, 
who held the rope while Carey went down in 
the well; Robert Hall, whose elegant diction 
is unsurpassed by any English orator; Christ- 
mas Evans, whose impassioned eloquence won 
thousands to Christ; and Charles Spurgeon, 
whose sermons were heard and read by more 
people than those of any other preacher of 
all time, were all Baptist preachers. Dr. 
Chalmers said of the English Baptist preachers 
of his day: "Perhaps there is not a more in- 
tellectual community of ministers in our 
island, or who have put forth to their number 
a greater amount of mental power and mental 
activity in the defense and illustration of our 
common faith." 

The largest contribution of the New World 
to civilization was the principle of separation 
of Church and State. Historians ascribe to 
the Baptists the chief credit for the establish- 
ment of this principle in the United States. 
John Locke said: "The Baptists were the 
first propounders of an absolute liberty, 
just and true liberty, equal and impartial 
liberty." Chief Justice Story said: "In the 
code of laws established in Rhode Island we 


read for the first time since Constantine 
ascended the throne of the Caesars, the de- 
claration that conscience should be free, 
and men should not be punished for wor- 
shipping God in the way they were per- 
suaded He requires." Oscar S. Straus, in 
his life of Roger Williams, contests the Ro- 
manists' claim about Maryland and claims 
that Williams antedated Lord Baltimore. 
We know that a large majority of the settlers 
of Maryland were Protestants; that what 
Baltimore did was from expediency rather 
than principle; and that he was an immoral 
money-getter who never contributed a dollar 
to a church.* 

Baptists have been forward in education 
in America. Brown University, the first 
college in the Middle States and in the front 
rank of American institutions of learning, was 

*Since Catholics make so much out of the founding of Mary- 
land, it should be remembered that twenty years before the occu- 
pation of Maryland the Baptists of England (1614) pubUshed a 
confession of faith in which they used this language: "We be- 
lieve that the magistrate is not to meddle with religion or matters 
of conscience nor compel men to this or that form of religion, be- 
cause Christ is the King and Law-giver of the church and the 
conscience." Then, again, the Maryland adventure was purely 
mercenary. Mr. E. D. Neil, after the most painstaking and 
accurate study of the original soiu'ces of this part of colonial 
history, characterizes CecUius, second Lord Baltimore, as "one 


founded by Baptists in 1764, and the charter 
requires that the president shall be a Baptist. 
The first real college in America for the higher 
education of women — Vassar — was founded 
by Matthew Vassar, a Baptist. Other col- 
leges for women have since been founded, 
but "the primacy of Vassar is far more than 

The literature of the world has been en- 
riched by Baptist writers. Daniel DeFoe, 
the author of Robinson Crusoe; John Foster, 
the great essayist; John Howard, the phil- 
anthropist; John Milton, the great epic poet 
and statesman; and John Bunyan, the im- 
mortal dreamer, whose "Pilgrim's Progress" 
ranks next to the Bible in extent of its circu- 
lation, were all Baptists. 

Milton began as a member of the Church of 
England, then became a strong Presbyterian, 

whose whole life was passed in self-aggrandizement, first desert- 
ing Father White, then Charles I., and making friends of Puritans 
and republicans to secure the rentals of the province of Mary- 
land, and never contributing a penny for a church or school- 
house." Says Bacon: "Lord Baltimore may not have been a 
profound political philosopher nor a prophet of the coming 
era of religious liberty, but he was an adroit courtier, like his 
father before him, and he was a man of practical good sense 
engaged in an enormous land speculation in which his whole 
fortune was embarked, and he was not in the least disposed to 
allow his reUgious predilections to interfere with business." 


then finding that Presbyterianism represented 
"as much of intolerance and tyranny as be- 
longed to the Roman Church," he became an 
Independent, and theoretically a Baptist. 
He held the fundamental Baptist principle 
of separation of Church and State, rejected 
infant baptism, and contended that immersion 
in water is the proper form of baptism. Two 
quotations from his "Christian Doctrine" 
will suffice. "Infants are not to be baptized 
in as much as they are incompetent to receive 
instruction or to believe, or to enter into a 
covenant, or to promise or answer for them- 
selves, or even to hear a word." "The bodies 
of believers, who engage themselves to pure- 
ness of life, are immersed in running water." 
Under the influence of Roger Williams he 
came out squarely and opposed interference 
of the State or civil magistrate in any way 
in matters of religious belief. He and John 
Bunyan, by the estimate of Lord Macaulay, 
were the two minds of the latter half of the 
seventeenth century which possessed the 
"imaginative faculty" in a very eminent de- 
gree. One produced "Paradise Lost"; the 
other, "Pilgrim's Progress." Differing in 


many respects they were alike in their de- 
pendence upon the word of God, and in their 
tenacity to Baptist principles. One sounded 
those principles "like a grand organ peal"; 
the other sounded them with the simplicity, 
unaffectedness, and persuasiveness of a singer 
of the soil. 

It is a noteworthy fact that to the Baptists 
the world is indebted for the most popular 
national hymn of our language, "My Country, 
'Tis of Thee." Baptists also wrote: 

How Firm a Foundation; My Hope is Built; 
Jesus, Thou Art the Sinner's Friend ; Awake, My Soul, 
in Joyful Lays ; O, Could I Speak the Matchless Worth ; 
Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned; Come, Humble 
Sinner, in Whose Breast; Did Christ O'er Sinners 
Weep? The Morning Light is Breaking; Take the 
Name of Jesus With You ; Saviour, Thy Dying Love ; 
Shall We Gather at the River? He Leadeth Me, O 
Blessed Thought; I Need Thee Every Hour; I Am 
So Glad that Our Father in Heaven; Almost Per- 
suaded; Where is My Wandering Boy Tonight? On 
Jordan's Stormy Banks; Dare to be a Daniel; Blest 
Be the Tie that Binds; How Precious is the Book 
Divine; Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing; Come, 
Thou Fount of Every Blessing; Softly Fades the Twi- 
light Ray; Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove; Father, 
Whate'er of Earthly Bliss; My Jesus, I Love Thee; 
God, in the Gospel of His Son; O, Safe to the Rock 
That is Higher Than I ; Go, Preach the Blest Salva- 
tion; Our Country's Voice is Pleading; Holy Bible, 


Book Divine; Ye Christian Heralds, Go Proclaim; 

Thou My Soul, Forget No More; More Holiness 
Give Me ; Wonderful Words of Life ; Whosoever Will ; 
The Light of the World is Jesus; The Half Was 
Never Told ; Bringing in the Sheaves. 

W. H. Doane, a Baptist, wrote the music 
for many of our popular hymns, such as: 

Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour; Near the Cross; 

1 Am Thine, O Lord; 'Tis the Blessed Hour of Prayer; 
Some Sweet Day; Saviour More Than Life to Me; 
More Love to Thee, O Christ; Hide Me, Oh, My 
Saviour, Hide Me; Will Jesus Find Us Watching? 
What Shall the Harvest Be? Rescue the Perishing; 
To the Work. 

Robert Lowry, a Baptist, wrote the musci 
for "Saviour, Thy Dying Love," and "We're 
Marching to Zion." "Coronation," the tune 
sung round the world, was written by Oliver 
Holden, a Baptist. These songs have 
smoothed more dying pillows and comforted 
more sorrowing hearts than all the philoso- 
phies from Plato to Bergson. 

Baptists have an honorable history. Their 
record is clean upon the separation of Church 
and State. Having given to the United 
States religious freedom, at the cost of their 
property, their liberty, their good name, and 
their lives, it is their chief glory that, suffer- 


ing all martyrdom themselves, they never 
yet have persecuted others. 

Their place has ever been with the pioneers 
of humanity. On many a field of battle 
and of blood, the banner of civil and religious 
liberty has been borne aloft by Baptist hands. 
To them the two things stipremely worth 
while are Religion and Liberty. These are 
closely akin. They are essential to the high- 
est good of man. Joined in one word, Re- 
ligious-Liberty, the perpetuity of each is 
guaranteed. The draft of the League of 
Nations read by President Wilson to the Peace 
Conference provided freedom of conscience 
or religion to the colonies of Central Africa. 
Baptists had, months before the war ended, 
petitioned that these rights be granted in 
every nation. We have come a long way from 
the days of oppression and have come through 
much tribulation. If our principles are now 
the possession, or aspiration, of all people who 
read and think, and our passionate love of 
liberty is the native air of this great land, and 
the growing sentiment of all lands, it is largely 
because these principles have been woven into 
the warp and woof of human thought by 


generations of heroic souls who held the 
Baptist faith. 

A Mighty Present. 

The legacies of the past have made the 
present rich and strong for us. Baptists have 
no extensive ecclesiastical appliances for gath- 
ering statistics and the figures do not show our 
full strength. However incomplete they may 
be, they are nevertheless very gratifying. 
The total number of Baptists in the world, 
according to the Baptist Year Book, is 
8,070,762. Baptists of the world have in- 
creased 8,000 per cent, in one hundred and 
twenty-five years and they number one- 
twentieth of the Christian population of the 
earth. Government statistics for 1918 give 
us in the United States 58,913 churches, 
43,656 ministers, and 7,213,922 members. 
We are second to the Methodists, with 7,- 
608,284, and every one in our figures repre- 
sents a person who has reached the age of 
accountability. Our ministers exceed those 
of the Methodists by 1,405. Presbyterians 
number 2,171,601; Lutherans, 2,455,334; 
Episcopalians, 1,078,435; Disciples of Christ, 


1,337,450; Church of Christ Scientists, 85,- 
096; Unitarians, 71,110. Excepting the 
Methodists, Baptists outnumber any three 
denominations in the United States. From 
1850 to 1900 the population of this coun- 
try increased three and a half times, while 
the Baptists increased almost six times. 
Though the Episcopalians decreased 11,000 
and the Disciples 35,000 in 1918, the Bap- 
tists increased 128,000, which was 50,000 
more than the Catholics and 78,000 more 
than the Methodists. 

The stronghold of Baptists is the South. 
The white members here number 2,593,249 
and the colored 2,150,929. Their growth has 
been rapid. In fifteen years Southern white 
Baptists increased 61 per cent, in member- 
ship, 28 per cent, in churches, 105 per cent, in 
baptisms, 353 per cent, in contributions to 
missions, and 333 per cent, in total contribu- 

Baptists outnumber any other Protestant 
denomination in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, 
Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missis- 
sippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode 
Island, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia; while 


in each of the States of Alabama, Georgia, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina 
and Virginia there are more members of 
Baptist churches than of all other denomina- 
tions, including Roman Catholics. In the 
territory of the Southern Baptist Convention 
east of the Mississippi River Baptists have 
forty-five and seven-tenths per cent, of all 
membership in Christian denominations, and 
west of the river they have twenty-seven and 
five-tenths per cent,, which is six and two- 
tenths per cent, more than the next largest 
evangelical denomination. 

Baptists have the largest theological semi- 
nary in this country, and perhaps in the world. 
They have fifteen theological seminaries, one 
hundred and two colleges and universities, 
and one hundred and eighteen academies. 
Baptists have more money invested in prop- 
erty and endowments for educational institu- 
tions than any other religious body in the 
United States. The value of the property, 
including the endowments, is $99,608,885 
and the total income of these educational in- 
stitutions in 1917 was $7,266,015. We need 
carefully to note this and compare this in- 


come with the total expenses of $8,087,215. 
Here is an item that demands our most 
serious attention. The income must be in- 
creased. There were 63,979 students in these 
educational institutions and 2,371,750 vol- 
umes in the libraries. Baptists also have 
their share of students in the State schools. 

A Bright Future. 

Our advance has always been greatest 
where the people are the freest. The world 
moves freedom's radiant way. The shackles 
of oppression are falling from the peoples of 
the earth. Men are coming into a conscious- 
ness of their right to think, to decide, to act 
for themselves, unawed by any arbitrary 
power. Rulers are paying more attention 
than ever to the masses. Democratic doc- 
trines have turned the world upside down. 
Even the Romanists, age-long hierarchists, 
are talking democracy; uniformly advocates 
of the union of Church and State, they are 
professing belief in religious freedom. They 
have "about-faced," and now professedly 
look the way Baptists have always faced and 
marched. We should welcome their change, 


provided they "bring forth fruits meet for 
repentance." When order follows the holo- 
caust of war we will confront an unparalleled 
opportunity. Just as America, by a self- 
sacrificing devotion to political democracy, 
has risen to the foremost place among nations, 
so may the Baptists by a no less ardent de- 
votion to spiritual democracy, gain the hege- 
mony among denominations. 

This is no time for Baptists to be under- 
lings.- Possessors of a heritage which has 
enriched the world, they are to live lives 
worthy of their historic greatness. They 
dare not stand still and see a mighty stream 
flow by in channels cut by their own prin- 
ciples. Their place is on the bosom of the 
water, in the very middle of the stream. 
In order to do this at least two things are 

(1) A new standard of giving. Our per 
capita contributions are shamefully small. 
We must be done with miserly contributions 
from the rich, and with no contributions from 
the many. The missionaries on the foreign 
field must be proportionate to our member- 
ship on the home field. Baptist institutions 


of learning must be adequately equipped 
and amply endowed. The pall of illiteracy 
that hangs over America must be lifted and 
our country illumined by the Baptist light. 
The doctrine of stewardship must put a 
dynamic in our doctrines of faith. We dare 
not return to pre-war standards of giving to 
the Kingdom of God. The war loosened 
plethoric purse strings. How long will 
periodic war be necessary to lower the high 
blood pressure of material prosperity? Has 
not this awful war been sufficient to instruct 
us? The next few years will demonstrate. 
Will our Christian men lapse into old habits 
of ease and drop down to old standards of 
giving? Then look out for another deluge! 
Will they think world thoughts for the King- 
dom of God? Will they render sacrificial 
service for Christ? Will they support the 
churches with millions as they have backed the 
government with their cash and credit? To 
put it bluntly: Do we love our souls as much 
as we love our bodies? Will we do for Christ's 
cause what we have done for our country? 
Are we pre-eminently Christian? 

(2) A new standard of living. The modern 


mind is more concerned with life than doc- 
trine. It conceives religion as an under- 
taking rather than an investigation. To be 
sure, one must know in order to teach, must 
believe before he speaks. Assuming that 
Baptists have this knowledge and conviction, 
let them become formative forces in all move- 
ments for moral betterment and social uplift. 
To say that the truth which Baptists hold 
is impaired by contact with life is a confession 
of weakness. The truth, like leaven, should 
permeate the lump, and assimilate instead of 
being assimilated. Other denominations need 
contact with the Baptists. Intimate ac- 
quaintance would promote understanding and 
heighten respect. By entering world affairs 
America is moulding them after her ideals. 
America might remain aloof in selfish geo- 
graphical isolation. By so doing she possibly 
would preserve her own life; but what about 
those whom she could help? Leave them to 
discord and disunion and death? The con- 
science of the majority of Americans answers, 
"No!" Such a course ultimately would be 
fatal to ourselves and to them. 


"Say not: 'It matters not to me 
My brother's weal is his behoof;' 
For in this wondrous human web 
If his life's warp, your life's woof. 
Woven together are the threads, 
And he and you are on one loom; 
For good or ill, for glad or sad, 
Your lives must share a common doom." 

The largest mission and brightest future of 
the Baptists He in serving God by enriching 
the lives of men. Jesus defined this mission 
in one sentence: "I am come that they might 
have life, and that they might have it more 
abundantly." A denomination must so serve 
that those whom it reaches shall have a fuller, 
diviner life. The denomination which points 
out that the high road to the betterment of 
the world lies through moral principles rather 
than legal enactments; which preserves the 
mass by proclaiming the inexpressible value 
of the person; which acts as the mentor of 
the national conscience by reflecting with 
faultless precision the conscience of the indi- 
vidual; which preaches a gospel of industrial 
and social repentance ; which breaks down the 
middle wall of partition between classes and 
reveals the meaning of brotherhood and love; 


which has the spirit of self-sacrifice and will- 
ingness to lose its own life for Christ; that is 
the denomination to whom the future belongs. 
Such a denomination makes a new earth 
wherein dwelleth righteousness. 

"God grant us wisdom in these coming days, 
And eyes unsealed, that we clear visions see 
Of that new world that He would have us build, 
To life's ennoblement and His high ministry. 

"God give us sense — God -sense of Life's new needs, 
And souls aflame with new-born chivalries ; 
To cope with those black growths that foul the ways. 
To cleanse our poisoned founts with God-born 

"To pledge our souls to nobler, loftier life;- 
To win the world to His fair sanctities; 
To bind the nations in a pact of peace. 
And free the Soul of Life for finer loyalties. 

"Not since Christ died upon His lonely cross, 
Has time such prospects held of Life's new birth; 
Not since the world of chaos first was born. 
Has man so clearly visaged hope of a new earth. 

"Not of our own might can we hope to rise 
Above the ruts and soilures of the past. 
But, with His help who did the first earth build, 
With hearts courageous we may fairer build this 



"It seemed good to me also, having traced 
the course of all things accurately from the 
first, to write unto thee in order . . . that 
thou mightest know the certainty concerning 
the things wherein thou wast instructed." 
Lu. 1:3, 4, R. V. 

"But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord; 
being ready always to give answer to every 
man that asketh you a reason concerning the 
hope that' is in you." 1 Peter 3:15. 

Baptists are glad to hold many doctrines 
in common with other Christians. Among 
these are the Inspiration of the Scriptures; 
the Doctrine of the Trinity ; the Ruin Wrought 
by Sin; Salvation Through Christ, and the 
Future Rewards of the Righteous and Punish- 
ment of the Wicked. These are equally dear 
to us and to Christian friends of other de- 

But our separate existence is to be explained 
and justified by our belief in certain important 


principles which are either not held, or not 
held so tenaciously and consistently by others. 
Dr. J. L. M. Curry, with peculiar clearness 
says: "No religious denomination has a moral 
right to a separate existence unless it differs 
essentially from others. Ecclesiastical differ- 
ences ought always to spring from profound 
doctrinal differences. To divide Christians, 
except for reasons of great import, is criminal 
schism. Sects are justified only for matters 
of conscience growing out of clear Scriptural 
precepts or inevitable logical inference. Hu- 
man speculation, tradition, authority of pope, 
or council, or synod, or conference, or legis- 
lature, is no proper basis for an organization 
of Christians. Nothing short of the truth of 
revelation, the authoritative . force of God's 
word, rising above mere prejudice, or passion, 
or caprice, can justify a distinct church or- 

By distinctive principles is meant those 
tenets which distinguish us from other people. 
Let me prepare the way for a statement of 
these principles by disclaiming as distinctive 
the three doctrines which others consider as 
constituting our distinctness. Two of these 


doctrines are held by us and one sometimes 
erroneously charged to us. (1) Immersion 
only is baptism. This is held by Baptists, 
but not by them alone. The Disciples so 
believe and practice. The Greek, or Eastern 
Church, has always practiced immersion and 
its present communion numbering over 70,- 
000,000 is immersed. Furthermore, im- 
mersion is not uncommon among Protestants. 
(2) Baptism is necessary to salvation. This 
has never been a tenet of the Baptists. They 
are the only people in the world who hold 
exactly the opposite, namely, that salvation 
must precede baptism. (3) "Close com- 
munion." Far from being a distinguishing 
doctrine of the Baptists, the principle under- 
lying "close communion" and out of which 
it grows is held by all denominations. All 
agree that baptism comes before communion 
in the New Testament order. Roman Cath- 
olics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans 
and Methodists baptize their babes directly 
after they are born, but do not give them the 
communion for years. Why do they always 
baptize first if baptism does not come before 
the communion? To be exact, we should say. 


"participation" and "Lord's Supper" instead 
of "communion." 

Having cleared the way by disclaiming 
number two as a doctrine of the Baptists and 
by saying numbers one and three are held in 
common with certain other Christians, those 
doctrines that are distinctive with us may 
now be stated. 

1. We believe that the New Testament is 
the sole and sufficient rule of faith and prac- 

2. We believe in individual responsibility 
to God for the performance of duty. 

3. We believe that a church is a body of 
baptized believers, equal in rank and privilege, 
administering its own affairs under the head- 
ship of Jesus Christ. 

Perhaps some of my Baptist brethren will 
think I have omitted something. Wait until 
these statements are developed and you will 
find that every tenet which characterizes us 
is included in these three statements. Per- 
haps some one of my fellow Christians among 
other denominations will think that I have 
stated principles which they hold as well as 
ourselves. Await the expansion of the 


thought and you will see that no people in- 
terpret and practice these principles as we 
do. We will consider them in the order of 
their statement. 

The New Testament the Only Authority. 

The New Testament is the only law of 
Christianity. The Old Testament is equally 
the word of God, but it was typical and is 
fulfilled in the New. It was the schoolmaster 
to lead us to Christ. Now we have Christ, 
who is our only law-giver and the only Lord 
of the conscience. 

Baptists do not go to the Old but to the 
New Testament to find the laws of the church 
and its institutions. Circumcision was prac- 
ticed in the Old Testament, but had no sub- 
stitute in the New. We deny that the Chris- 
tian Church should baptize infants because 
they were circumcised under the old law. 
Circumcision is too broad for baptism in 
that it included servants and too narrow in 
that it excluded females. If baptism was 
typified by circumcision it must be admin- 
istered either to the actual or the spiritual 
seed of Abraham. It could not be his actual 


seed, since females are excluded. It could 
not be his spiritual seed, since all other nations 
are excluded. Therefore circumcision could 
not typify baptism. Such was Dr. B. H. 
Carroll's unanswerable argument on this 
point. Paul could have settled the annoying 
circumcision controversy by saying "Baptism 
has taken the place of circumcision." He 
never said it. We believe that the New Testa- 
ment is a sufficient rule for the Christian life. 
Creeds and decrees of councils have no bind- 
ing authority. The believer has his supreme 
and absolute guide in the New Testament 
illumined by the Holy Spirit. 

Someone will say, for example, that he be- 
lieves immersion was practiced and com- 
manded by Jesus, but he thinks the church has 
a right to change the mode. Here is where 
the Baptist's position on the place and pur- 
pose of the New Testament makes him part 
company with all who so hold. Jesus is abso- 
lute Lord. The church has no right to undo 
what Christ has done. Its mission is to carry 
out what he has commanded. When the 
Presbyterians tell us that this is a principle of 
their denomination as well as of the Baptists, 


we ask them for the authority in the Scriptures 
for sprinkling and for infant baptism. By 
practicing both or either they invaHdate their 

Furthermore, it is a serious matter to add 
to the things commanded. To those who 
keep more than two sacraments, or teach 
sacerdotalism, or observe an elaborate ritual, 
or possess an intricate and extensive form of 
government we say, "You have added to the 
law which is sole and sufficient. You have 
doae that which is distinctly forbidden." 
"I testify unto every man that heareth the 
words of the prophecy of this book, if any man 
shall add unto them, God shall add unto him 
the plagues which are written in this book." 
You dare not subtract from by changing the 
mode of baptism. You dare not add to by 
multiplying the rites or ritual. As my be- 
loved Bible teacher at Baylor University used 
to say, "All the New Testament is the Law 
of Christianity. The New Testament is all 
the Law of Christianity. The New Testa- 
ment will always be the Law of Christianity." 


Individual Responsibility. 

This separates the individual from family, 
friends, government and all, and brings him 
face to face with his Maker. "To his own 
Master he standeth or falleth." "So, then, 
every one of us must give account of himself 
to God." The first preacher in the New 
Testament proclaimed the blessed doctrine 
of individualism. If we listen we may hear 
the clarion voice of John the Baptist ringing 
from the regions of Jordan — breaking the 
silence of four hundred years — crying, "Think 
not to say within yourselves, we have Abra- 
ham to our father. Behold the axe is laid at 
the root of the tree and every tree that bring- 
eth not forth fruit is hewn down and cast into 
the fire." 

Individual responsibility means freedom of 
choice. Freedom to read the Bible; freedom 
to interpret the Bible; freedom to approach 
God; freedom to serve God. The Baptists 
would have a Bible within the possession of 
every one who wants it. They would say, 
"Read, interpret, and decide for yourself." 
They would not, for any consideration, bap- 


tize unconscious infants or force their own 
children into their churches. Yea, they say 
to their most dearly beloved, "Go where the 
New Testament leads you." Therefore every 
member of a Baptist church secured that 
membership upon his own initiative. Not 
one was brought in unconsciously or un- 

Nor do we believe in the intervention of 
priests between the soul and God. Accord- 
ing to our belief, all believers are priests and 
may directly confess their sins, express their 
praise, and ask for guidance. By reason of 
their belief in individualism, Baptists have 
ever been the opponents of the union of 
Church and State and the champions of 
Religious Liberty. They were such not by 
accident, but by the necessity of their prin- 
ciples. Freedom of conscience is a corollary 
of individualism. Considered historically, 
this tenet belongs to us alone. 

At the beginning of the struggle we stood 
against the world with nothing but the word 
of God on our side. Our contention is based 
upon such Scriptures as, "Shadrach, Meshach 
and Abednego answered and said to the king, 


O, Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to 
answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our 
God whom we serve is able to deliver us from 
the burning fiery furnace, and He will de- 
liver us out of thine hand, O king. But if 
not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we 
will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden 
image which thou hast set up." Dan. 3:16, 

"Tell us therefore. What thinkest thou? 
Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or 
not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, 
and said. Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 
Shew me the tribute money. And they 
brought unto Him a penny. And He saith 
unto them. Whose is this image and super- 
scription? They said unto him, Caesar's. 
Then saith He unto them. Render therefore 
unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; 
and unto God the things that are God's. 
When they had heard these words, they mar- 
velled, and left Him, and went their way." 
Matt. 22:17-22. 

"And they called them, and commanded 
them not to speak at all nor teach in the name 
of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and 


said unto them, Whether it be right in the 
sight of God to hearken unto you more than 
unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but 
speak the things which we have seen and 
heard." Acts 4:18-20. 

"Then Peter and the other apostles an- 
swered and said. We ought to obey God rather 
than men." Acts 5:29. 

Baptists contend that there can be no 
coercion in matters pertaining to conscience. 
God Himself does not force men. Religion 
is purely voluntary. The civil power can 
make a nation of hypocrites and infidels, but 
not one Christian. What havoc has been 
wrought by a disregard of this principle! 
Calvin burned Servetus at the stake near 
Geneva and Melancthon approved the crime. 
Luther persecuted the Baptists of Germany. 
Louis XIV. revoked the Edict of Nantes, 
closed all the Protestant churches, and out- 
lawed the Huguenots. No sooner had the 
Netherlands repelled Philip H. and the Cath- 
olic persecution than the Protestants turned 
upon each other. The Calvinists, led by 
Prince Maurice, executed the venerable John 
Barneveldt; and condemned to life imprison- 


ment her greatest historian, Hugo Grotius, 
upon the charge that he supported religious 
toleration. England kept John Bunyan twelve 
years in prison because he would not conform 
to the established worship. The most shame- 
ful chapter of American history is that which 
records the persecution of Baptists for con- 
science's sake. In Massachusetts, Obadiah 
Holmes was whipped on Boston Common. 
Clark was imprisoned and Roger Williams was 
banished. In Connecticut the choicest lands 
of the Baptists were sold to build a church 
and support a ministry in which they did not 
believe. In Virginia they imprisoned Lewis 
Craig in Spotsylvania, William Webber in 
Chesterfield, James Greenwood in King and 
Queen, John Shackleford in Essex, John 
Waller in Middlesex, and John Ireland at 
Culpeper for preaching the gospel. Yea, 
they confiscated the property of Baptists 
to support a worldly and profligate ministry 
of the establishment. The Baptists have 
ever fearlessly denounced the unholy union 
of Church and State and proclaimed the right 
of every man to worship God as he chooses. 
Their principles will not allow them to per- 


secute. They have never shed any blood 
but their own, nor can they ever shed blood if 
they have the power. The moment one be- 
gan to persecute, that moment he would 
cease to be a Baptist. 

A New Testament Church. 

It is certain that Christ and his apostles 
baptized. It is equally certain that they 
baptized only believers. The church is for 
saved people. John the Baptist and Jesus 
made disciples before they baptized them. 
John 4:1. Jesus commanded us to be made 
disciples before we baptize. "The Lord added 
to them day by day those that were saved." 
Acts 2:47. "Believers were the more added 
unto the Lord, multitudes both of men and 
women." Acts 5:14. The churches are ad- 
dressed thus, "But ye are washed, but ye are 
sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of 
the Lord Jesus." 1 Cor. 6:11. "And you 
hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses 
and sins." Eph. 2:1. They are also called, 
"beloved of God," "sanctified in Christ 
Jesus," "saints and faithful brethren in 
Christ." There is absolutely no evidence 


that baptism was administered except upon a 
voluntary profession of faith. If it is per- 
missible to take into the church one uncon- 
verted, then it is permissible to take into the 
church all unconverted and thereby to have 
churches composed entirely of unbelieving 
sinners. We demand repentance and faith 
before baptism. 

The household baptisms furnish no evidence 
that aay but believers were baptized. There 
are five of these households mentioned in 
the Acts and Epistles. Examine them. (1) 
CorneHus — Acts 10:44-48, 11:14. His house- 
hold evidently consisted of believers, for it is 
written that he "feared God with all his 
house." Moreover, the record states, "the 
Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the 
word" and that they began to "speak with 
tongues and magnify God." Surely infants 
could not have performed any of these four 
functions. (2) Crispus — ^Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 
1:14. It reads like the account of Cornelius: 
"Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed 
in the Lord with all his house." (3) Stephanas 
— 1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15f. His household are 
described as "the first fruits of Achaia"; that 


is, they were the earliest converts. Further- 
more, five years after their baptism Paul 
wrote of them: "They have set themselves 
to minister unto the saints," and he exhorted 
the Corinthians to "be in subjection unto 
such . " Could children six years old be spoken 
of in such language? (4) The jailer — Acts 
16:31-34. We are informed that Paul and 
Silas "spake the word of the Lord unto him, 
with all that were in his house. ''^ Infants 
could not be included among the auditors, 
and it is guess work to suppose they were 
afterwards baptized. (5) Lydia — Acts 16:13- 
15, 40. To get infants baptized here one must 
assume three things: (1) Lydia had a husband; 
(2) she had infant children; (3) these infants 
were baptized. Those are bold assumptions 
without a scintilla of proof. "My house" 
would indicate that she did not have a hus- 
band. She was a business woman with ser- 
vants. Before leaving Philippi, the Apostles 
paid her a farewell visit; the account reads, 
"when they had seen the brethren they com- 
forted them and departed." The "brethren" 
were members of her household and they were 
old enough to be "comforted" or exhorted. 


They must have been persons of inteUigence. 
A close reading of the Scriptures will disclose 
that acts and functions are described in every 
household of which infants are incapable. 
The Holy Spirit superintended the record so 
as to preserve believers' baptism. Dr. Archi- 
bald Alexander, distinguished Presbyterian 
scholar and president of Hampden- Sidney 
College, in 1 796 communicated to the Presby- 
tery his determination to give up infant 
baptism and avowed that only two considera- 
tions kept him back from joining the Baptists. 
The first was an argument from the "uni- 
versal prevalence of infant baptism as early 
as the fourth and fifth centuries"; and the 
second was, "that if the Baptists are right, 
they are the only Christian church on earth." 
The Romanists object to the Baptists on 
similar grounds. 

Infant baptism does not appear in Scripture 
at all and is not mentioned in history until 
shortly before the close of the second century, 
when TertuUian at Carthage opposed it as 
an innovation. The belief that baptism was 
essential to salvation and that infants dying 
unbaptized were lost facilitated the growth 


of infant baptism; but no one advocated it 
before Augustine (354-430). The heresy 
spread and became the prolific parent of an 
unregenerated church membership, of the 
servitude of the individual to an institution, 
of the union of Church and State and of per- 
secution for conscience sake. It remains the 
bulwark of Romanism and the most insur- 
mountable barrier to Christian union. 

The New Testament churches were inde- 
pendent and self-governing. The highest 
court was the church. Matt. 18:15-18. Its 
decisions were final. Each church is a court 
and there is none higher. No general body 
can dictate to the local church. Such gen- 
eral bodies are composed of messengers from 
co-operating churches and are purely advisory. 
The churches of the New Testament were 
certainly independent organizations recogniz- 
ing Jesus as their law-giver. The only earthly 
bond of union was a common faith and life 
and work. They were the only ecclesiastical 
bodies. That each church governed its own 
affairs is evident from Matt. 18:17. "And 
if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto 
the church: but if he neglect to hear the 


church, let him be unto thee as an heathen 
man and a publican." 1 Cor. 5:3-5. "For I 
verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, 
have judged already, as though I were present, 
concerning him that hath so done this deed, 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when 
ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the 
power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver 
such an one unto Satan for the destruction of 
the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the 
day of the Lord Jesus." Acts 15 :22. "Then 
pleased it the apostles and elders, with the 
whole church, to send chosen men of their 
own company to Antioch with Paul and 
Barnabas." 2 Cor. 8:19. "And not that 
only, but who was also chosen of the churches 
to travel with us with this grace, which is ad- 
ministered by us to the glory of the same 
Lord, and declaration of your ready mind." 
To particularize: each church had absolute 
control over its own membership. The church 
received members. "Him that is weak in the 
faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputa- 
tions." Rom. 14:1. One joins a church 
for fellowship, worship and service. The 
members have a right to say whether or not 


they think he will promote that fellowship, 
worship and service. Otherwise, inharmoni- 
ous and discordant elements may get into the 
same church. 

The church withdrew fellowship from mem- 
bers for cause. "Now we command you, 
brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from 
every brother that walketh disorderly, and 
not after the tradition which he received of 
us." 2 Thess. 3:6. It is absurd to vote one 
out if you do not vote him in. Once more, if 
the pastor, or any certain class, has a right to 
take a member in, he has a right to turn him 
out. Under the Baptist polity the whole 
church receives him and the same church ex- 
cludes, for cause. 

It restored to fellowship upon repentance. 
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, 
ye which are spiritual restore such an one in 
the spirit of meekness: considering thyself, 
lest thou also be tempted." Gal. 6:1. The 
general congregation votes to receive back 
into the fellowship the erring member who has 
been reclaimed. 

Baptists find no authority in the Bible for 


one man being the head of an ecclesiastical 
organization. Peter never knew he was a 
pope, nor did the other apostles. He was a 
fallible, married man. He did not appoint 
the successor to Judas. He spoke to the 
Christians as to his equals and they nomi- 
nated. James was pastor and presided over 
the Jerusalem council and exerted the greatest 
influence. Paul withstood Peter to his face. 
Papal aggression began with Leo about the 
middle of the fifth century, culminated with 
Hildebrand about the middle of the eleventh 
century, and reached its climax of absurdity 
at the Vatican Council in 1870 by the formal 
declaration of papal infallibility. Our Saviour 
condemned the custom of giving one su- 
periority over others. "And he said unto 
them. The kings of the Gentiles exercise lord- 
ship over them; and they that exercise au- 
thority upon them are called benefactors. 
But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest 
among you, let him be as the younger; and 
he that is chief, as he that doth serve." 
Luke 22:25, 26. "But be ye not called 
Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; 
and all ye are brethren. And call no man 


your Father upon the earth: for one is your 
Father, which is in heaven." Matt. 23:8, 9. 
Even in the local church no one lords it over 
God's heritage. Bishops were not "over" 
but among them as the Revised Version cor- 
rectly translates Acts 20:28, and the same 
translation should be made of 1 Thess. 5:12. 
The only one over the church was the Lord 

We understand that elder, bishop and pas- 
tor were terms designating those having care 
of the local churches and were used inter- 
changeably, the same person being called 
elder, bishop or pastor, according to the view 
taken of his office. "Elders" is the term 
used in Acts 20:17 to designate the Ephesian 
presbyters, and in Acts 20:28 they are called 
"bishops." Now, "bishop" means overseer 
or pastor. So we have the words used inter- 
changeably in one chapter referring to the 
same persons. Elder and bishop are also 
used interchangeably in Titus 1:5, 7. See 
also 1 Peter 2:25 and 5:5. The words de- 
scribe different functions of the same office; 
three departments of work in one office. 
Viewing the church as a force of laborers, they 


have an "episcopos," overseer, to superin- 
tend their activities; viewing the church as a 
flock, they have a shepherd, pastor, to shep- 
herd the sheep; viewing the church as an 
assembly, they have an elder, a ruler, to pre- 

New Testament churches selected their 
own officers and messengers. This appears 
from Acts 1:21-26, where Matthias was se- 
lected by all of the remaining apostles and 
the women and the brothers of Jesus as the 
successor of Judas. The "multitude of the 
disciples" selected the seven (Acts 6:2f) 
who served as deacons. In commenting upon 
Acts 14:23, Meyer says, "Paul and Barnabas 
chose by vote presbyters for them, i. e., 
they conducted their selection by vote in the 
churches." The verb used here is to extend 
the hand and signifies properly to elect or 
vote by extending the hand. The choice of 
companions to attend the apostles in the name 
of the communities was left to the churches 
themselves. We read "Who was appointed 
by the churches to travel with us" (2 Cor. 
8:19). The local church, then, chose its 
officers who were of but two classes, viz.. 


Bishops and Deacons. See Phil. 1 :1 and 1 
Tim. 3:1, 8, where the deacons are named 
immediately after the bishops, "which ex- 
cludes the idea of any intermediate order." 

To-day, Baptist churches have absolute con- 
trol over their affairs and elect their own offi- 
cers as did those in the days of the apostles. 
If we were to admit that we had no form of 
church government laid down in the New 
Testament we should still believe in our form 
of local government, because it accords with 
our sense of freedom and justice. As a min- 
ister, it seems, I should not like for the place 
and time of my pastorate to be determined 
by another man. As a layman, I should want 
some voice and vote in determining who was 
to be my pastor and how long he was to re- 

Baptist principles are founded upon God's 
word and are in accord with the innate sense 
of freedom in the human heart. Our success 
is conditioned upon our loyalty to these prin- 
ciples in the spirit of the Master. 



"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also 
ye are risen with him through the faith of the 
operation of God, who hath raised him from 
the dead." Col. 2:12. 

"Therefore we are buried with him by bap- 
tism into death ; that like as Christ was raised 
up from the dead by the glory of the Father, 
even so we also should walk in newness of 
life." Rom. 6:4. 

Doctrinal preaching has an important place 
in the dissemination of the gospel. Such 
preaching should not be dessicated or acer- 
bating. When neglected, the result is seen 
in a membership of lax and unsettled views. 
"Speaking the truth in love" should be our 
motto as we calmly and soberly endeavor to 
show that the Baptists are correct in their 
practice of immersion and that only. 

I. The Greek word translated baptize 
means immerse. 


Proof. — All the authorities cited are Pedo- 

1. Lexicons. 

(a) Liddell & Scott — "Baptism, to dip in 
or under water." Classical. 

(&) Thayer — "Baptism, to dip repeatedly, 
to immerse, submerge. An immersion in 
water." A Greek English Lexicon of the 
New Testament, date 1887. 

(c) Sophocles — "Baptize, to dip, to im- 
merse, to sink. . . . There is no evidence 
that Luke and Paul and the other writers of 
the New Testament put upon the verb mean- 
ings not recognized by the Greeks." "Greek 
Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Pe- 
riods," date 1870. 

2. Encyclopedias. 

(a) Kitto's — "Baptism, that is dipping or 

(&) Britannica — "The word is derived from 
the Greek to dip, or wash." 

3. Dictionaries. 

(a) Smith — "Baptism properly and literally 
means immersion." 

(b) Marcus Dods — "To use Pauline lan- 
guage, his old man is dead and buried in the 


water, and he rises from his cleansing grave a 
new man. The full significance of the rite 
would have been lost had immersion not been 
practiced." "Dictionary of Christ and the 
Gospels," by Hastings. (1906-1908.) 

4. Histories. 

Fisher — "The ordinary mode of baptism 
was by immersion." 

5. History. 

(a) Greek church, old and knowing the 
language, practices immersion only. 

(b) The earliest case of sprinkling on record 
is that of Novation, 250 A. D., and it origin- 
ated in a baptism of the sick, and this was 
not accepted by all as valid. Novation re- 
covered and became a minister, but some al- 
ways opposed his eligibility to the office on 
the ground that he had never been baptized. 
One can readily see that a belief in baptismal 
regeneration was the cause for sprinkling 
one who was thought to be dying. 

6. Fathers. 

Tertullian — "The law of immersion has 
been imposed, and the form has been pre- 

7. Commentators and Translators. 


(a) John Calvin (Presbyterian) — "The 
word 'baptize' signifies to immerse. It is 
certain that immersion was the practice of 
the primitive church." 

(b) Luther (Lutheran) — "Baptism is a 
Greek word, and may be translated 'Immerse.' 
I would have those who are to 436 baptized 
to be altogether dipped." 

(c) John Wesley (Methodist) — "Buried 
with him by baptism — alluding to the an- 
cient manner of baptizing by immersion." 

(d) Wall (Episcopalian) — "Immersion was 
in all probability the way in which our blessed 
Saviour, and for certain the way by which the 
ancient Christians received their baptism." 

(e) Brenner (Catholic) — "For thirteen hun- 
dred years was baptism an immersion of the 
person under water." 

Conclusion. — By seven different methods 
and from fourteen anti-Baptist authorities 
I have shown that the Greek word means im- 
merse, and was so interpreted and practiced 
by early Christians. It is a rule in court prac- 
tice that a person cannot impeach his own wit- 
ness, and yet our Pedo-baptist friends would 


be forced to that before they could overthrow 
the Baptist position. 

II. There is no instance in the Bible where 
God ever commanded any one to sprinkle 
pure water upon anything for any purpose. 
Ask the Old Testament for the authority for 
sprinkling; it replies, "It is not in me." Ask 
the New Testament; it replies, "It is not in 
me." This is shown by an examination of 
all the passages in original or translation in 
which reference is made to the idea of sprink- 
ling. Only two Hebrew words in the Old 
Testament are translated sprinkle in our 
version of the Scriptures — Zah-rak and Nah- 

1. Nah-zah — twenty-four times in the Old 

(a) Used of sprinkling blood, twelve times. 
Lev. 4:6, 17; 5:9; 6:27, twice; 16:14 twice, 
and verses 15 and 19; Num. 19:4; 2 Ki. 9:33; 
Is. 63:3. Blood is the object of the verb in 
every case. 

(b) Used of sprinkling blood and oil, twice. 
Lev. 8:30; Ex. 19:21. 

(c) Used of sprinkling blood and water 
mingled, twice. Lev, 14:7, 51. 


(d) Used of sprinkling blood and oil, three 
times. Lev. 8:11; 14:16, 27. 

(e) Used of sprinkling blood, ashes and 
water mingled, four times. Num. 19:18, 19, 
21. "And a clean person shall take hyssop, 
and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon 
the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon 
the persons that were there, and upon him 
that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, 
or a grave: 

And the clean person shall sprinkle upon 
the unclean on the third day, and on the 
seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall 
purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe 
himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 

And it shall be a perpetual statute unto 
them, that he that sprinkleth the water of 
separation shall wash his clothes; and he 
that toucheth the water of separation shall 
be unclean until even." 

(/) Once in Is. 52:15. So shall he astonish 
or startle (Revised Version) many nations. 

2. Zah-rah. — Thirty-five times in the Old 

(a) Used of sprinkling blood, twenty-five 
times. Ex. 24:6, 8; 29:16, 20; Lev. 1:5, 11; 


3:2, 8, 13; 7:2; 8:19, 24; 9:12, 18; 17:6; Num. 
18:17; 2 Ki. 16:13, 15; 2 Chron. 29:22 (three 
times); 30:16; 35:11; Ezek. 43:18. 

(b) Used of sprinkling ashes and water 
mingled, twice. Num. 19:13, 20. 

(c) Used of scattering small solid sub- 
stances, seven times. (1) Dust, 2 Chron. 
34:4; Job 2:12; (2) Ashes, Ex. 9:8, 10; (3) 
Seeds, Is. 28:25; (4) Gray hairs, Hosea 7:9; 
(5) Coals of fire, Ezek, 10:2. 

(c^) Ezek. 36:25— "Then will I sprinkle 
clean water upon you and ye shall be clean: 
from all your filthiness and from all your 
idols, will I cleanse you." 

Here it is used figuratively of cleansing 
water. Consider the 

(1) General usage. The water of purifica- 
tion was always clean as uncontaminated 
and cleansing. 

(2) God is the subject of the sentence and 
no one contends that it literally means God 
will sprinkle in showers and dews. 

(3) National custom. A figure is not to 
be ascribed to an assumed custom when it 
can be explained on known customs as well. 
Water of purification is referred to in Lev. 


15:19, 30. "And if a woman have an issue 
and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall 
be put apart seven days; and whosoever 
toucheth her shall be unclean until the even." 

"And the priest shall offer the one for a sin 
offering, and the other for a burnt offering; 
and the priest shall make an atonement for 
her before the Lord for the issue of her un- 
cleanness." By comparing Num. 19:17 we 
learn what the water of purification was. 
It was the ashes of a red heifer mixed with 
running water. 

There is no case, or even a hint, where 
sprinkling of simple water ever occurred. 
The Jews did many things not commanded, 
but not this, and if they had done this it 
would not be binding on us. 

3. If sprinkling as now practiced has any 
countenance from God, it must be in the New 
Testament; but let us see — The only word in 
the New Testament to denote sprinkling is 
rantizo. It is always used of blood. 

(a) Heb. 9:13, 19, 21; 10:22. (13) "For 
if the hlood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes 
of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth 
to the purifying of the flesh." (19) "For 


when Moses had spoken every precept to all 
the people according to the law, he took the 
blood of calves and of goats, with water, and 
scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both 
the book, and all the people." (21) "More- 
over he sprinkled with blood both the taber- 
nacle, and all the vessels of the ministry." 
10:22. "Let us draw near with a true heart 
in full assurance of faith, having our hearts 
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our 
bodies washed with pure water." Blood is 
expressed in all passages but the last and must 
be supplied here to get the correct meaning. 

(b) Rantismos (sprinkling) occurs twice 
in New Testament and refers to blood. 

Heb. 12:24. "And to Jesus the mediator 
of the new covenant, and to the blood of 
sprinkling, that speaketh better things than 
that of Abel." 

1 Peter 1:2. "Elect according to the fore- 
knowledge of God the Father, through sanc- 
tification of the Spirit, unto obedience and 
sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace 
unto you, and peace, be multiplied." 

(c) Proschusis — translated sprinkling, oc- 
curs once and refers, to blood. "Through 


faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling 
of blood, lest he that destroyed the first- 
born should touch them." Heb. 11:28. 

Sprinkling clear water is not commanded, 
mentioned or hinted. This is unaccount- 
able if God intended it as an ordinance. 
There is a great deal of sprinkling in the Old 
Testament, but none of clear water. Sprink- 
ling of blood is all that is alluded to in the 
New Testament. 

4. Pouring occurs in the New Testament 
twenty-four times, but is never of water, 
nor is baptizo ever so translated. In four in- 
stances some form of the verb ballo is used 
and in twenty instances some form of the 
verb eccheo. 

(1) Of wine, Mt. 9:17; Mk. 2:22; (2) 
Emptying the changer's money, Jno. 2:15; 
(3) Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:17, 
18, 33; 10:45; Tit. 3:6; (4) Shedding of blood, 
Acts 22:20; Rom. 3:15; Rev. 16:6; (5) Oil and 
wine upon wounds of man who fell among 
thieves, Lk. 10:34; (6) Pouring ointment on 
the Saviour's head, Mt. 26:7, 12; Mk. 14:3; 
(7) Pouring water into a basin to wash his 
disciples' feet, Jno. 13:5; (8) Of outpouring 


of the vials of wrath, Rev. 16:1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 
10, 12 and 17. There is no case in the New 
Testament in which water was poured upon 
any one. Neither sprinkling nor pouring is 
in the Bible, and hence cannot be a form of 
Christian baptism. 

III. Jesus Christ was certainly immersed 
by John the Baptist and his apostles practiced 
the same mode — 

1. Baptism of Jesus. The account is in 
five places. Mt. 3:13-17; Mk. 1:9-11; Lk. 
3:21; Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12. I quote them: 

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan 
unto John, to be baptized of him. But John 
forbade him, saying, I have need to be bap- 
tized of thee, and cbmest thou to me? And 
Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to 
be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill 
all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up 
straightway out of the waters and lo, the 
heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the 
Spirit of God descending like a dove, and 
lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, 
saying. This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased." Mt. 3:13-17. 


"And it came to pass in those days that 
Jesus came from Nazareth of GaHlee, and 
was baptized of John in Jordan. And straight- 
way coming up out of the water he saw the 
heavens opened, and the Spirit Hke a dove 
descending upon him : And there came a voice 
from heaven saying, Thou art my beloved 
Son, in whom I am well pleased." Mk. 

"Now when all the people were baptized, 
it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, 
and praying, the heaven was opened : And the 
Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like 
a dove upon him, and a voice came from 
heaven, which said. Thou art my beloved 
Son; in thee I am well pleased." (Lk. 3:2 If.) 

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were 
baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized 
into his death? Therefore we are buried 
with him by baptism into death: that like as 
Christ was raised up from the dead by the 
glory of the Father, even so we also should 
walk in newness of life. For if we have been 
planted together in the likeness of his death, 
we shall be also in the likeness of his resur- 
rection." (Rom. 6:3-5.) 


"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also 
ye are risen with him through the faith of the 
operation of God, who hath raised him from 
the dead." (Col. 2 :12.) Note (a) In what— 
River; (b) Came up out of; (c) Buried; (d) 
Risen in baptism with Christ. Such terms 
are appropriate to immersion only. (Col. 

2, John's continual practice. "In Aenon 
near to Salim, because there was much water 
there." (Jno. 3:23.) He received his name 
from his custom of baptizing. 

3. Philip and the Eunuch. "And as they 
went on their way, they came unto a certain 
water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; 
what doth hinder me to be baptized? And 
Philip said. If thou believest with all thine 
heart, thou mayest. And he answered, and 
said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of 
God. And he commanded the chariot to 
stand still; and THEY went down BOTH 
into the water, BOTH PHILIP AND THE 
EUNUCH ; and he baptized him. And when 
they were come up out of the water the Spirit 
of the Lord caught away Philip, that the 
eunuch saw him no more : and he went on his 


way rejoicing." (Acts 8:36-39.) The four 
duals in verse 38 are significant. This is the 
most minute description of the ordinance in 
the Bible and leaves no doubt as to the mode. 

IV. The baptism of 3,000 at Pentecost and 
of the Jailer present no difficulty. 

1. Case of the 3,000. It is objected that 
they could not have been immersed. 

(a) Scripture does not say all were baptized 
in one day. 

(b) The twelve apostles, each baptizing 
thirty-two an hour, could have baptized 
3,076 in eight hours. I have baptized a 
large number of persons at one time and it re- 
quired less than a minute to a person. It is 
not at all taxing upon the strength of the 

(c) Almost certainly the seventy sent out 
by Jesus aided in the baptism. 

(d) It is common in history for 3,000 to be 
baptized in one day. Chrysostom baptized 
3,000 in Constantinople 16th of April A. D., 
404. St. Patrick of Ireland immersed 120,000 
during his life. In Madras Confederacy in 
1878 six missionaries immersed in nine hours, 


two baptizing at a time, 2,222. On December 
28, 189,0, they baptized 1,671 more. 

2. Case of jailer, Acts 16:29. Opponents 
of immersion say he was in the jail and there 
was no place for immersion. A careful read- 
ing of the passage shows — 

(a) His conversion did not take place in 

(b) His baptism did not take place in the 
prison house. 

(c) Paul perhaps carried him to the river 
near by. 

(d) Persons have been immersed in prison. 
Men are immersed in the penitentiary at 
Richmond every year. These objections are 

V. Certain fundamental principles in law 
to be remembered are — 

1. Words of law are to be understood in 
their ordinary sense. The ordinary meaning 
of baptize is to immerse. Dr. Broadus trans- 
lated the Greek word immerse in every place 
in the New Testament and it fit the sense. 
Try this with sprinkle or pour and the result 
is ridiculous. Eccheo (pour) and rantizo 


(sprinkle) are never used as synonyms for 

2. You cannot depart from the words of 
the law. Departure means to disregard the 
law. If one admits immersion as the New 
Testament mode but says the mode is un- 
important, we say you have no right to change 
the law. 

3. Where law is uncertain, there is no law. 
If we cannot know the prescribed form of 
baptism, then we have no form at all. 

4. It availeth nothing if you know what is 
to be done and do not know how it is to be 
done. Uncertainty about the mode of bap- 
tism practically destroys baptism itself. 

5. A law, when it expresses one thing, ex- 
cludes everything else. Agents buying horses 
for the government by specification cut out 
all animals that do not come up to the re- 
quirements as to height and size, no matter 
how pretty such animals are. 

6. The law requires absolute obedience. 
The registration law says all qualified voters 
must register by a certain time on a certain 
day. One coming thirty minutes after the 
hour would not be allowed to register. 


(a) Baptism is a matter of much import- 
ance. It has been commanded by the Lord. 
The use of water is in one particular way. 
The Baptist principle is "obedience to Christ." 

(&) The meaning is obscured if you change 
the mode. Death, burial and resurrection 
are not set forth by any other mode. 

(c) Obed ience is the test of love . " I f ye love 
me keep my commandments; he that hath my 
commandments and keepeth them, he it is 
that loveth me." The proper mode is of 
such importance that Judson was immersed, 
although it meant the loss of friends and 
left him on the foreign field, for the time being, 
without an appointment and without sup- 
port; that Dr. A. T. Pierson, the able editor 
of the Missionary Review, asked baptism 
at the hands of Spurgeon's brother, when he 
knew such a course would put him out of 
favor with his beloved people, the Presby- 
terians; that G. Campbell Morgan, the 
spiritual teacher and prophet of God, felt 
impelled to immerse his own son who joined 
a Congregational Church; and Billy Sunday, 
marvelous combination of physical energy, 
youthful enthusiasm and passionate evan- 


gelism, was satisfied with nothing but im- 
mersion for himself. Our Saviour gave three 
commands which his disciples are to obey to 
the end of the world, viz., Make disciples, 
baptize and teach. Baptism stands between 
the two great experiences of regeneration 
(make disciples), and sanctification (teach- 
ing them to observe all things). Standing 
on this lofty position,, baptism symbolizes 
the essential facts of Christianity in the past, 
present and future. That is, it embodies 
three fundamental ideas, (1) the fact of 
Christ's death and resurrection — historical 
Christianity; (2) the regeneration of the soul, 
buried with him by baptism and raised to 
walk in newness of life — living Christianity; 
(3) the final resurrection of the body — pro- 
phetic Christianity. Baptism is an epitome 
of Christ's message to the world: "More 
beautiful than figures of speech, more accurate 
than any statement of the lips, more com- 
plete than the articles of any creed." We 
show our love by obeying Christ implicitly. 
Abraham had the peculiar distinction of being 
called "the friend of God." Every believer 
may have the same distinction. "Ye are my 


friends if ye do whatsoever I have com- 
manded you." My Christian friends, have 
you all been baptized? Not sprinkled or 
poured, but baptized? If not, what will you 
do with the positive command and plain ex- 
ample of Jesus, "Why call ye me Lord and 
keep not my commandments?" 




The record of the institution of the Lord's 
Supper is found in four places in the Bible. 
That we may have these Scriptures before 
us, I quote them. "And as they were eating, 
Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake 
it, and gave it to the disciples, and said. Take, 
eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, 
and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 
Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the 
new testament, which is shed for many for the 
remission of sins." (Matt. 26:26-28.) 

"For I have received of the Lord that which 
also I delivered unto you, that the Lord 
Jesus, the same night in which He was be- 
trayed, took bread: And when he had given 
thanks, he brake it, and said. Take, eat; this 
is my body, which is broken for you; this do 
in remembrance of me. After the same man- 
ner also he took the cup, when he had supped, 
saying, This cup is the new testament in my 
blood: This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in 


remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat 
this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the 
Lord's death till He come." (1 Cor. 11:23- 

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and 
brake it, and gave unto them saying, This is 
my body which is given for you: this do in 
remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup 
after supper, saying. This cup is the new 
testament in my blood, which is shed for you." 
(Luke 22:19, 20.) 

"And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, 
and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, 
and said. Take, eat; this is my body. And 
he took the cup, and when he had given 
thanks, he gave it to them : and they all drank 
of it. And he said unto them, This is my 
blood of the new testament, which is shed for 
many." (Mark 14:22-24.) 

This is the second of two ordinances which 
Christ gave to his church. In the preceding 
chapter we considered the first — baptism — 
and saw that immersion was unquestionably 
the practice in New Testament times, and 
was the command of Jesus to every believer. 
The world is coming back to New Testament 


practice in its admission of immersion only as 
baptism, and Baptists have practically won 
their fight for the mode and meaning of this 
ordinance. The best scholarship of the world 
is with the Baptists. One of the handsomest 
new Episcopal churches in Virginia is provided 
with a pool. The rector is reported as saying : 
"The world is returning to the original mode 
of baptism." 

We cannot say as much for our position 
regarding the Lord's Supper. That position 
is not so well understood as is our position 
on baptism, and there is an erroneous senti- 
ment, in the minds of many, concerning the 
Lord's Supper, which makes it difficult to 
explain just what we believe about this ordi- 
nance, and our reasons for that belief. 

The Baptist Position Stated. 

The Christian world is divided into at least 
four divisions upon the Lord's Supper. The 
Catholics believe in transubstantiation, that 
is, the bread and wine are changed into the 
actual body and blood of Christ, and when you 
partake of these elements you do actually 
eat of the body and drink of the blood of 


Christ. This conversion of the elements into 
the flesh and blood of Christ is under the con- 
secration of the priest. The Lutherans and 
some others hold to what is called consub- 
stantiation, that is, "the body and blood of 
Christ are truly present and are there com- 
municated to those that eat in the Lord's 
Supper," but this presence is by virtue of 
Christ's word rather than the priest's conse- 
cration.- The Calvinists hold "that the body 
and blood are present in efficacy through the 
working of the Holy Spirit in the believing 
elect." The Baptists believe that the bread 
is only a symbol of the body of Christ, and 
likewise the wine, of the blood. We say there 
is no difference between this bread and other 
bread of the same kind except in the purpose 
for which it is used. It is just bread and 
wine, that is all. Against the Catholics, 
who say that the church, by a consecrating 
act, converts the elements into the body of 
Christ, and against the Lutherans, who say 
that the real body and blood are present be- 
cause Christ said so, and against the Cal- 
vinists and all others who say there is a 
spiritual blessing and means of grace in the 


supper, we say, "No, the bread and wine 
only represent the flesh and blood," as where 
Christ in the parable of the sower said the 
seed is the word and the field is the world, 
he meant that the seed sown represent the 
word and the field where the seed were sown 
represents the world. We say there is no 
more efficacy in the Lord's Supper than in 
baptism. Each is a symbol and the only 
blessing is that which comes from obedience 
to Christ and from meditating upon the truths 
set forth in those symbols. So that, not to 
invite one to the Lord's Supper is not shutting 
him off from a means of grace. Those who 
take so much to heart the action of Baptists 
in not inviting them to the table, seem to think 
there is some mysterious grace in the supper 
just as they seem to think there is some 
efficacious power in the water of baptism. 
No, the baptism is only a picture setting forth 
Christ's burial and resurrection, and the 
supper is only a picture of Christ's death. 
By it we commemorate the sufferings and 
death of our Saviour and profess to be in 
communion with him. There is no hint of 
observing it in remembrance of one another, 


nor for the expression of affection and fellow- 
ship. Dr. Burrows, Sr., used to say, "Every 
reference to the supper in the New Testament 
connects it with Jesus." To make either of 
these ordinances mean more, is a perversion 
of Scripture. Every Baptist beheves this 
much about baptism, and if he is logical he 
will believe the same about the Lord's Supper. 
This is our position as to the import of the 
Lord's Supper. Our practice has been severely 
criticised by those who would have been milder 
and more generous if they had understood our 
interpretation of the meaning of the ordinance. 
What is there objectionable in our practice? 
Let me state that practice in one sentence — 
We do not invite unbaptized persons to the 
Lord's table, and as we do not extend invita- 
tions to such persons, we do not accept in- 
vitations of unbaptized persons to partake 
with them. Thinking as we do, that the 
Lord's Supper is a church ordinance to be 
preceded by baptism, we could not act other- 
wise. And since the ordinance is not a means 
of grace, we have not deprived those whom 
we do not invite of any mysterious or special 
blessing. I candidly affirm that our posi- 


tion is both scriptural and logical. And I 
say furthermore that while you may be a 
Baptist and be an open communionist, yet 
your brother who believes in restricted com- 
munion is more consistent than you. 

The Baptist Position Vindicated. 

We have seen that immersion was the uni- 
form practice of Christ and his apostles. 
Having explained our belief and practice, 
it is now proposed to give a reason for our 

Proposition I. — ^There is no such thing in 
the Bible as free and open communion. 

1. Restricted and located in the church. 
"For first of all, when ye come together in the 
church, I hear that there be divisions among 
you; and I partly believe it." 1 Cor. 11 :18. 

The ordinance is not to be observed in the 
home. Administering the supper in rooms 
of the sick and dying is not only contrary to 
Scripture teaching and practice as to the place 
for its observance, but is also to teach that 
there is some saving merit in the supper it- 
self. Baptism of the dying comes from the 
same beliefs, namely, that the ordinance is 


essential to salvation. A more deadly or 
more anti-scriptural heresy never blighted a 

2. Restricted to the pure in life. "But 
now I have written unto you not to keep com- 
pany, if any man that is called a brother be a 
fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a 
railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with 
such an one no, not to eat." 1 Cor. 5:11. 

3. Restricted to an orderly walk. "And 
now we command you, brethren, in the name 
of the Lord Jesus, that ye withdraw your- 
selves from every brother that walketh dis- 
orderly, and not after the tradition which he 
received of us." 2 Thess. 3:6. 

The disorderly member is out of the church 
and hence away from the table. If I were a 
member of a Pedo-baptist church and should 
preach the doctrine I now hold, they would 
exclude me for heresy. Being excluded, they 
would not invite me to the table. But, hold- 
ing these same views, and being a Baptist, 
they invite me to the table. That is, they 
are better to me as a Baptist than they would 
be if I belonged to them. This is inconsistent 
and unnatural. 


4. Restricted to discernment of the Lord's 
body. "For he that eateth and drinketh 
unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation 
to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." 
1 Cor. 11:29. 

One dare not think of wife or friends at the 
table -of the Lord. Scripture, not sentiment, 
is the guide, and Paul says one must dis- 
criminate, must see, the Lord's body. 

5. Restricted where divisions and schisms 
exist. 1 Cor. 11:17-20. Note the twentieth 
verse as it reads in the Revised Version, 
"When therefore ye assemble yourselves to- 
gether, it is not possible to eat the Lord's 
Supper." The margin of the Authorized 
Version reads, "Ye cannot eat," and the rea- 
son assigned is the existence of divisions or 
schisms. Let us suppose the Catholics, Pres- 
byterians, Methodists, Disciples, Episco- 
palians and Baptists assembled around one 
table to observe the Lord's Supper. Now, 
we have what the Christian world needs! 
The one thing supposed by many as wanting 
for the speedy conquest of the world for Christ 
is supplied! How beautiful to see all de- 
nominations around one table! But, wait a 


moment before you break that bread. "Are 
you agreed in other matters now that you 
have come to a common table?" "Are you 
united in doctrine and practice?" If there 
be divisions among you there "you cannot 
eat." The CathoHc believes in an infallible 
pope and a church through which alone people 
are saved. The Presbyterian detests Roman 
Catholicism, but believes that children of 
believing parents are to be members of the 
church. The Methodist believes in Ar- 
minianism to an extent which separates him 
widely from the Presbyterian. The Disciple 
parts company with the sprinkling Methodist 
and discards his emotional religion. The 
Episcopalian declares his belief in Apostolic 
succession and cannot accept Presbyterian, 
Methodist, Disciple and Baptist pastors as 
ordained ministers. The Baptist believes that 
Jesus is the only Lord of the conscience and 
that the New Testament is the only law of 
Christianity. He tells the Catholic that his 
claims are monstrous and preposterous; he 
tells the Presbyterian that only believers 
are to be members of the church; he tells the 
Methodist that God is sovereign and His 


purposes are behind and above all; he tells 
the Disciple, "With the heart man believeth," 
and not the head; he tells the Episcopalian 
that his church came from the Roman 
Catholics and his exclusive claim for an or- 
dained ministry is a vestige of papal succes- 
sion heresy and is absurd. Not to mention 
more, these are radical differences which exist 
among these denominations irrespective of 
the communion question. If they partake 
of that ordinance with these divisions among 
them, they do so as Paul says, "Not for the 
better but for the worse." Open communion 
would be an unmitigated curse. 

6. Restricted to the baptized. 

(1) Only the apostles were present at the 
institution. Neither his mother nor brothers 
were present, for they were unbaptized. We 
know that some of these twelve apostles were 
former disciples of John and he baptized all 
those whom he received. We know that Jesus 
himself was baptized, and can you believe 
that he used unbaptized persons as his 
apostles? The qualification of an apostle, as 
learned from the election of a successor to 
Judas, was that he should have companied 


with Jesus and the eleven from the baptism 
of John. 

(2) The supper comes after baptism. 

The divine order is, (1) disciple; (2) bap- 
tize; (3) teach all the things commanded. 
The order is a part of that commission. You 
have as much right to put baptism before 
making disciples as you have to put com- 
munion before baptism. Dr. Hibbard, Meth- 
odist, truly writes: "The reader will perceive 
that the argument is based entirely upon the 
order of the apostolic commission. It may 
be questioned by some whether the argument 
is genuine, and whether it is entitled to any 
considerable force. But suppose we assume 
an opposite ground? Suppose we say that 
the things commanded are important to be 
done, but the order observed in the commis- 
sion is a subject of indifference. Now what 
will be the consequences of this position? 
What but total, irretrievable confusion? The 
apostles go forth, they are intent upon doing 
all that Christ commanded them, but the 
order of the duties is a subject of indifference. 
The consequence is that some are baptized 
before they are converted from heathenism; 


some receive the holy supper before either 
baptism or conversion; others are engaged in 
a course of instruction before they are dis- 
cipled; and the most incoherent and unsuit- 
able practices everywhere prevail. Improper 
persons are baptized, or baptism is im- 
properly delayed; the holy supper is ap- 
proached before the candidate is duly pre- 
pared, and it is therefore desecrated, or it is 
unduly withheld from rightful communicants. 
Is not the prescribed order therefore in the 
administration of the ordinances, and the 
duties of the apostolic commission all-im- 
portant? And thus we hold that Christ 
enjoined the order as well as the duties them- 
selves; and, in this order of Christ, baptism 
precedes communion at the Lord's table." 

(3) The practice of the Apostles. 

The first instance of the Lord's Supper 
being observed after its institution. "Then 
they that gladly received his word were bap- 
tized and the same day there were added unto 
them about three thousand souls. And they 
continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine 
and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and 
in prayers." Acts 2:41, 42. 


The second instance of the Lord's Supper 
after its institution. "And upon the first day 
of the week, when the disciples came to- 
gether to break bread, Paul preached unto 
them, ready to depart on the morrow; and 
continued his speech until midnight." Acts 

(4) Every mention of baptism puts it im- 
mediately upon profession of faith and hence 
before the Lord's Supper. 

The Samaritans believed Philip and were 
baptized at once. Acts 8:12. The Eunuch 
believed Philip and was baptized immediate- 
ly. Acts 8:36-39. Paul was baptized as 
soon as the scales fell from his eyes. Acts 
9:18. The jailer was baptized the same hour 
of the night. Acts 16:33. 

There is not a case in which there was time 
to celebrate the Lord's Supper before bap- 
tism. If we do not know from the New Testa- 
ment that immersion was their baptism, then 
we do not know from the Bible that there is 
a God. If we do not know from the same 
source that immersion came before the sup- 
per, then we do not know that there were 
any believers or churches. I assert in the 
words of Dr. Jeter, "In all the oracles of God 


there is neither proof that the Lord's Supper 
was ever administered but within a church 
and to its baptized members." In what 
chapter and verse do you find your authority 
for an unbaptized person partaking of the 
Lord's Supper? Do you beheve that im- 
mersion only is baptism? Then you must be 
a restricted communionist, for you cannot 
show where an unbaptized person ever par- 
took of the supper in the New Testament. 

(5) That we are right in demanding bap- 
tism as a prerequisite to the supper is evident 
from the symbolism of the ordinances. Bap- 
tism symbolizes spiritual birth. Birth pre- 
cedes nourishment. The Lord's Supper sym- 
bolizes spiritual nourishment, support. We 
are born once and baptized once. We are 
fed often, and have the Lord's Supper often. 

Proposition IL — ^There is no such thing 
among the denominations as open and free 

The Rev. Dr. William Wall, of the Church 
of England, who wrote two large and elaborate 
volumes of the history of infant baptism, 
showing that immersion was uniformly prac- 
ticed in the early churches, says: "No church 


ever gave the communion to any person be- 
fore he was baptized; among all absurdities 
ever held, none ever held this, that any per- 
son should partake of the communion before 
he was baptized." 

Among the Presbyterians, the devout and 
erudite Dr. Doddridge writes: "It is certain 
that so far as our knowledge of primitive 
antiquity extends, no unbaptized person re- 
ceived the Lord's Supper. Howsoever ex- 
cellent any man's character is, he must be 
baptized before he can be looked upon as 
completely a member of the church of Christ." 

Rev. Dr. Griffin, one of the most eminent 
Congregational divines of this country, writes : 
"I agree with the advocates of close com- 
munion * * * that we ought, not to com- 
mune with those who have not been baptized, 
and of course are not church members, even 
if we regard them as Christians." 

Among the Methodist scholars and divines, 
Rev. Dr. Hibbard writes: "It is but just to 
remark that in one principle the Baptist and 
Pedo-baptist churches agree. They both 
agree in rejecting from the table of the Lord 
and in denying the rights of church fellow- 


ship to all who have not been baptized. Valid 
baptism they (Baptists) consider essential to 
constitute visible church membership. This 
we (Methodists) also hold. The only ques- 
tion, then, that divides us is, What is valid 
baptism? No society of Christians would 
receive an unbaptized person into its com- 
munity and tender to him the privileges of 
their body * * * The converts of the day of 
Pentecost were first baptized, and then added 
to the church. The concurrent voice of the 
Christian world would exclude an unbaptized 
person from fellowship in the visible church of 

The Episcopalians declare that baptism 
and church membership precede communion. 
Prof. Cheetham, Professor of Pastoral 
Theology in King's College, London, says: 
"None could be admitted to holy communion 
but baptized persons lying under no censure." 

The Episcopal Recorder says: "The close 
communion of the Baptist churches is but 
the necessary sequence of the fundamental 
idea out of which their existence has grown. 
No Christian church would willingly receive 
to its communion even the humblest and 
truest believer in Christ who had not been bap- 


tized. With Baptists immersion only is bap- 
tism, and they therefore, of necessity, exclude 
from the Lord's table all who have not been 
immersed. It is an essential part of the 
system — the legitimate carrying out of the 

Lord Chancellor King says: "As for the 
persons communicating, they were not in- 
differently all that professed the Christian 
faith, as Origen writes: 'It doth not belong 
to every one to eat of the bread, and to drink 
of this cup.' But they were only such as 
were in the number of the faithful, 'such as 
were baptized, and received both the cre- 
dentials and practices of Christianity.' That 
is, who believe the articles of the Christian 
faith and led a holy and pious life. Such as 
these, and none else, were permitted to com- 
municate. Now since none but the faith- 
ful were admitted, it follows that the cate- 
chumens and the penitents were excluded; 
the catechumens because they were not yet 
baptized, for baptism always precedes the 
Lord's Supper." 

Therefore Dr. Cuyler says: "The terms of 
communion in the Presbyterian Church re- 


quire a previous open confession of the Lord 
Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. That pre- 
supposes a membership in some evangeHcal 
church. Baptism is an essential part of an 
open profession of Jesus Christ and of re- 
ception into the visible church." 

John Wesley says very plainly that baptism 
precedes communion. In a sermon which 
he preached upon "Do this in remembrance 
of me," he laid down baptism as a prerequisite 
to communion. (Wesley's Sermons, vol. 4, 
p. 153.) In his Journal, vol. 1, p. 188, he 
says: "In the ancient times every one who was 
baptized communicated daily." No Baptist 
ever insisted upon this doctrine more strongly 
than did Mr. Wesley. 

In practice Mr. Wesley was as strict as 
any high-churchman in the land. Comment- 
ing upon a letter received from one J. M. 
Bolzins, he says: "And yet this very man, 
when I was in Savannah, did I refuse to 
admit to the Lord's table, because he was 
not baptized by a minister who had been 
episcopally ordained." 

In reply to a question from Mr. Jones, 
of England, Mr. Alexander Campbell says: 


"Your third question is, Do any of your 
churches admit unbaptized persons to com- 
munion, a practice that is becoming very 
prevalent in this country? Not one so far 
as is known to me. I am at loss to under- 
stand on what principle — by what law, pre- 
cedent or license any congregation founded 
upon the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ 
being the chief corner stone, could dispense 
with the practice of the primitive church with 
the commandment of the Lord and the au- 
thority of the apostles." 

In the Christian Baptist Mr. Campbell 
says: "But I object to making it a rule, in 
any case, to receive unimmersed persons to 
church ordinances: first, because it is nowhere 
commanded; second, because it is nowhere 
precedented in the New Testament; third, 
because it necessarily corrupts the simplicity 
and uniformity of the whole genius of the 
New Testament; fourth, because it not only 
deranges the order of the kingdom, but makes 
void one of the most important institutions 
ever given to men." 

Then, if there is no such thing in the Bible 
or among the denominations as open com- 


munion, why blame the Baptists for con- 
sistency and conscientiousness? The average 
Pedo-baptist to-day disregards the standard 
authorities of his denomination and views the 
Lord's Supper sentimentally. He ignores 
the logic of restricted communion and con- 
ceives it as a breach of Christian fellowship, 
a denial of a common faith. He does not dis- 
tinguish between Christian and church fellow- 
ship. He fails to see the logic of his own posi- 
tion. Sentiment is not a safe criterion; it is 
as variable as a weather vane. The Scrip- 
tures are the one unerring, unchangeable 
guide. Adherence to their teachings is ob- 
ligatory. The very essence of the Lord's 
Supper is changed when sentiment controls 
its observance. Suppose the sentiment of 
missionaries in China favored admission of 
cultured Confucianists to the Lord's Table as 
a recognition of their moral code. The per- 
ception of Christ's broken body would be 
lost thereby for sentimental reasons. Yet the 
logic that abolishes the prerequisite of bap- 
tism would, strictly applied, lead to the 
abolition of the symbolism of the elements, 
leaving the ordinance like a monument whose 


inscription had been effaced, like a temple 
whose glory had departed. 

Objections Removed. 

1. A Baptist wife cannot commune with 
her Pedo-baptist husband or vice versa. 
This objection is based upon an erroneous 
view of the purpose of the Lord's Supper. 
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not 
a participation of the blood of Christ? The 
bread which we break, is it not a participa- 
tion of the body of Christ?" 1 Cor. 10:17. 
It is communion with Christ and never com- 
munion with friends or loved ones. You com- 
mune with them in your homes. A husband 
and wife are to show their love for each other 
in the home, and day by day. 

2. If we cannot partake of the communion 
together on earth, how can we in heaven? 
This question would never be asked by one 
who has noted the time limit on the Lord's 
Supper. There will be no Lord's Supper in 
heaven. Christ said it was to be kept "until 
he come." 

3. The Baptists are a narrow folk because 
they do not commune with other denomina- 


tions. We do commune with them in every 
legitimate way. We commune with them in 
gospel song, in earnest prayers, in enterprises 
of benevolence, in temperance reform and in 
moral welfare. Baptists contribute to hos- 
pitals and charitable objects like other people. 
They are just as liberal with their means and 
in their views as other people. I am sure 
they are not less hospitable. Baptists in- 
vite all denominations to their tables and 
make no distinction in dispensing the hos- 
pitality of their homes. They invite all to 
their tables, but to the Lord's table they can 
invite only those whom he has invited, that is, 
baptized persons. 

4. Restricted communion prevents Chris- 
tian union. Why do not the denominations 
that believe in open communion unite as 
they are? When they have done so then it 
will be time to make this objection to the 
Baptists. I venture that the Methodists 
and Presbyterians are as far apart as they 
would be if the Baptists were open com- 

5. Restricted communion keeps many out 
of the Baptist denomination. So does our 


requirement of a changed life. We could 
not surrender a principle to increase our 
membership. Furthermore, when those who 
incline towards the Baptists understand why 
restricted communion is practiced they will 
be drawn to us more readily and closely. 
Even outsiders who understand our position 
admire and commend us for our consistency. 
We are always glad to have accessions, but 
we are also anxious that they shall be right in 
belief and practice. Then, again, it does 
not seem that restricted communion is hurt- 
ing us badly, for in the South, where Baptists 
are uniformly restricted communionists, they 
are growing faster than anywhere else in the 
world. God honors the people who honor 
His word. We have no desire for a liberality 
that breaks a Bible commandment or changes 
a gospel order. We are content to be as 
broad as Jesus Christ. 

It is submitted that Baptists are not re- 
sponsible for existing divisions. Baptists have 
adhered to a uniform scriptural practice. 
The people who deviated from the course of 
the New Testament are responsible for the 




When one reflects upon the assurance with 
which informed and loyal Baptists hold their 
tenets to be scriptural, the wonder arises how 
so many devout Christians justify themselves 
in not subscribing to Baptist views. Upon 
investigation, using only books immediately 
at hand by non-Baptists, it is highly gratifying 
to find the substantiation of our doctrines by 
numerous historians and commentators. This 
increases surprise at the position of our Pedo- 
baptist friends. Their own writers, by direct 
statement or implication, admit much for 
which Baptists contend. Non-Christian au- 
thorities are equally explicit. Reference to 
other libraries than my own would have in- 
creased the number of authorities indefi- 
nitely. By using second-hand data the task 
could have been performed quickly. Ignor- 
ing all quotations from books by Baptist 
authors, or quotations of Pedo-baptists by 
Baptists, this independent investigation was 


made. The results, not to repeat matter used 
elsewhere in this book, follow. 

Views of Three Encyclopedias. 

1. American Encyclopedia Britannica. 
"The Baptists were the first denomination 

of British Christians that undertook the work 
of missions to the heathen, which has become 
so prominent a feature in the religious activity 
of the present century. As early as the year 
1784, the Northamptonshire Association of 
Baptist Churches resolved to recommend that 
the first Monday of every month should be 
set apart for prayer for the spread of the gos- 
pel, a practice which has since, as a German 
writer remarks, extended over all Protestant 
Christendom, and we may add over all 
Protestant Missions." Vol. II, page 796. 

2. The Jewish Encyclopedia. 

"A Christian denomination or sect denying 
the validity of infant baptism or of any bap- 
tism not preceded by a profession of faith. 
Baptists and their spiritual progenitors, the 
Anabaptists of the sixteenth century (in- 
cluding the Mennonites), have always made 
liberty of conscience a cardinal doctrine. 


Balthasar Hubmaier, the Anabaptist leader, in 
his tract on "Heretics and Their Burners" 
(1524), insisted that not only heretical Chris- 
tians, but also Turks and Jews were to be 
won to the truth by moral suasion alone, not 
by fire or sword; yet as a Catholic, but a few 
years before, he had co-operated in the de- 
struction of a Jewish synagogue in Regens- 
burg and in the expulsion of the Jews from the 
city. * * * The Mennonites of the Nether- 
lands, who became wealthy during the seven- 
teenth century, were so broad-minded and 
philanthropic that they made large contri- 
butions for the relief of persecuted Jews. 
In England, Henry Jessey, one of the most 
learned of the Baptist ministers of the middle 
decades of the seventeenth century (1649 
onward), was an enthusiastic student of He- 
brew and Aramaic, and an ardent friend of the 
oppressed Hebrews of his time." Vol. H, 
page 501. This article, written by Newman, 
has the imprimatur of the Hebrew editors. 

3. The Catholic Encyclopedia. 

"The Baptists consider the Scriptures to 
be the sufficient and exclusive rule of faith 
and practice. In the interpretation of them 


every individual enjoys restricted freedom. 
No non-scriptural scheme of doctrine and 
duty is recognized as authoritative. General 
creeds are mere declarations of prevalent doc- 
trinal views, to which no assent beyond one's 
personal conviction need be given. * * * 
Baptists hold that those only are members of 
the Church of Christ who have been baptized 
upon making a personal profession of faith. 
They agree in the rejection of infant baptism 
as contrary to the Scriptures, and in the ac- 
ceptance of immersion as the sole valid mode 
of baptism. All children who die before the 
age of responsibility will nevertheless be saved. 
Baptism and the Eucharist, the only two 
sacraments, or ordinances as they call them, 
which Baptists generally admit, are not pro- 
ductive of grace, but are mere symbols. 
Baptism does not bestow, but symbolizes, 
regeneration, which has already taken place. 
In the Eucharist Jesus Christ is not really 
present; the Lord's Supper merely sets forth 
the death of Christ as the sustaining power of 
the believer's life. It was instituted for the 
followers of Christ alone; hence Baptists, in 
theory, commonly admit to it only their own 


church members and exclude outsiders (close 
communion). Open communion, however, 
has been practiced extensively in England 
and is gaining ground to-day among Ameri- 
can Baptists. In church polity, the Baptists 
are congregational, i. e., each church enjoys 
absolute automony. Its only officers are 
the elders or bishops and the deacons. The 
elder exercises the different pastoral functions 
and the deacon is his assistant in both spiritual 
and temporal concerns. These officers are 
chosen by common suffrage and ordained by 
"Councils" consisting of ministers and repre- 
sentatives of neighboring churches. A church 
may, in case of need, appeal for help to an- 
other church; it may, in difficulty, consult 
other churches; but never, even in such cases, 
can members of one congregation acquire 
authority over another congregation. Much 
less can a secular power interfere in spiritual 
affairs. Vol. II., page 278. 

The Initial Ordinance. 

1. Cunningham Geikie, Episcopalian: "John 
resisted no longer, and leading Jesus into the 
stream, the rite was performed * * * 


Holy and pure before sinking under the 
waters, he must yet have risen from them with 
the Hght of a higher glory in his countenance." 
"Life and Words of Christ," pages 413 and 

2. Neander, converted Jew: "In respect to 
the form of baptism, it was in conformity 
with the original institution and the original 
import of the symbol, performed by immersion. 
* * * Baptism was administered at first 
only to adults, as men were accustomed to 
conceive baptism and faith as strictly con- 
nected. We have all reason for not deriving 
infant baptism from apostolic institution, 
and the recognition of it which followed some- 
what later, as an apostolical tradition, serves 
to confirm this hypothesis. "History of the 
Christian Religion and Church." Vol. I., 
pages 310 and 311. 

3. G. Campbell Morgan, immersed Con- 
gregationalist : "He (Jesus) left the seclusion 
and the privacy, and standing on the threshold 
of public work, with the waters of a death 
baptism, which he had shared in the grace 
of his heart with man, still clinging about 
him, the silent heavens broke into the Ian- 


guage of a great music, as the Almighty 
Father declared, 'This is My beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased.' " "The Crisis of 
the Christ," page 136. 

4. Dr. Phillip Schaff, Presbyterian: In 
the encyclopedia of which he was co-editor, he 
secured Dr. Osgood to write the article on 
Baptism (The Baptist View). He follows 
that with a lengthy discussion by himself. 
Though differing from the "Baptist View," 
his scholarship compelled him to say, "There 
is no trace of infant baptism in the New Testa- 
ment. All attempts to deduce it from the 
words of institution, or from such passages 
as 1 Cor. 1 :16, must be given up as arbitrary." 
"Baptism in the early church was a triple 
immersion." "The Council of Ravenna (1311) 
was the first to allow a choice between 
sprinkling and immersion." Vol. I., page 

"Augustine, Gregory Nazianzen and Chrys- 
ostom had Christian mothers, but were not 
baptized till they were converted in early 
manhood." Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of 
Religious Knowledge. Vol. I., page 210. 

Dean Stanley, Episcopalian: In a graphic 


description of baptism in the patristic age, 
says, "They then plunged into the water. 
Both before and after the immersion," etc. 
"Christian Institutions," page 5. 

5. H. M. Gwatkin, Presbyterian: "We have 
good evidence that infant baptism is no direct 
institution either of the Lord himself or of his 
apostles. There is no trace of it in the New 
Testament. Every discussion of this sub- 
ject presumes persons old enough to have 
faith and repentance, and no case of baptism 
is recorded except of such persons, for the 
whole 'household' mentioned would in that 
age mean dependents and slaves as naturally 
as they suggest children to the English 
reader." "Early Christian History, A. D. 
313." Vol. I., page 251. 

6. John Wesley, Methodist: He was in- 
dicted by a grand jury at Savannah August, 
1737, upon ten counts; the fifth arraignment 
was that he had broken the laws of the realm 
by "refusing to baptize Mr. Parker's child, 
other than by dipping, except the parents 
would certify it was weak, and not able to 
bear it." "The Heart of Wesley's Journal," 
page 21. 


7. Dr. William Sanday, Episcopalian: 
"Baptism has a double function: (1) It brings 
the Christian into personal contact with Christ 
so close that it may be fitly described as union 
with him; (2) it expresses symbolically a 
series of acts corresponding to the redeeming 
acts of Christ. 

I mmersion — Death . 

Submersion — Burial (the ratification of 
death) . 

Emergence — Resurrection. 

All these the Christian has to undergo in a 
moral and spiritual sense, and by means of his 
union with Christ." "The International Crit- 
ical Commentary on Romans," page 153. 

8. Jas. Cardinal Gibbons, Roman Catholic: 
"For several centuries after the establishment 
of Christianity baptism was usually conferred 
by immersion; but since the twelfth century 
the practice of baptizing by infusion has pre- 
vailed in the Catholic Church, as this manner 
is attended with less inconvenience than bap- 
tism by immersion." This paragraph occurs, 
to be sure, in an argument for baptismal re- 
generation and for the discretion of "the 
Church" in adopting the most convenient 


mode ; but it is striking that the distinguished 
Cardinal felt constrained to concede so 
much to immersion. ("The Faith of Our 
Fathers," page 277, eighty-third edition.) 

Church Officers. 

1 . The noted skeptic and historian Gibbon : 
"The primitive bishops were considered only 
as the first of their equals, and the honorable 
servants of a free people. Whenever the 
episcopal chair became vacant by death, a 
new president was chosen among the pres- 
byters by the suffrage of the whole congrega- 
tion, every member of which supposed him- 
self invested with a sacred and sacerdotal 
character. Such was the mild and equal 
constitution by which the Christians were 
governed more than a hundred years after the 
death of the apostles. Every society formed 
itself within a separate and independent re- 
public; and although the most distant of 
these little States maintained a mutual as 
well as friendly intercourse of letters and 
deputations, the Christian world was not yet 
connected by any supreme authority or legis- 


lative assembly." "Roman Empire," vol. 
I., page 413. 

2. Professor Kurtz, Lutheran: "It is un- 
equivocably testified by the New Testament, 
and, as appears from the First Epistle of 
Clement of Rome (ch. 42, 44, 57), the fact 
had never been disputed down to the close of 
the first century, that bishops and presbyters 
are identical. The force of this objection, 
however, is sought to be obviated by the 
subterfuge that while all bishops were indeed 
presbyters, all presbyters were not bishops. 
The ineptitude of such an evasion is apparent. 
In Phil. 1:1, the apostle, referring to this one 
particular church, greeted not one but several 
bishops. According to Acts 20:17, 28, all 
the presbyters of the one Ephesian church are 
made bishops by the Holy Ghost. Also 
Titus 1:5, 7 unconditionally excludes such a 
distinction; and according to 1 Peter 5:2 all 
such presbyters should be episkopountes. In 
opposition to this theory, which received 
the sanction of the Council of Trent, the old 
Protestant theologians maintained the original 
identity of the two names and offices. In 
support of this they could refer not only to 


the New Testament, but also to Clement of 
Rome and the Teaching of the Twelve Apos- 
tles, where, just as in Phil. 1:1, only bishops 
and deacons are named as church officers, and 
as appointed by the free choice of the church. 
They can also point to the consensus of the 
most respected church fathers and church 
teachers of the later times." "Church His- 
tory," pages 54 and 59. 

3. H. M. Gwatkins, Presbyterian: "That 
the 'bishops' in the New Testament were 
not what we call bishops is proved at once by 
the single fact that there were sundry of them 
at Philippi. They evidently stand in close 
relation to the elders. Thus the elders of 
Ephesus are reminded that they are bishops, 
and the qualifications of the bishops and 
elders as described to Timothy and Titus are 
nearly the same, and point to oversight cer- 
tainly, and to the same sort of oversight, but 
to oversight which is pastoral, not what we 
should call episcopal. Again, St. Paul's argu- 
ment from the bishop to the elder would be 
no argument at all if the bishops were al- 
ready no more than a small class among the 
elders. The rough general equivalence of 


bishops and elders in the New Testament 
has very seldom been disputed since the con- 
troversies of the seventeenth century. * * * 
We find no trace of bishops in the New Testa- 
ment." "Early Church History to A. D. 
313," vol. I., pages 69 and 72. 

Church Government. 

1. Viscount Bryce, Episcopalian, tracing 
the rise of the hierarchy, draws an analogy 
from the growth of the empire and gives a 
passing notice to the freedom of the earliest 
churches. "And, just as with the extension 
of the empire all the independent rights of 
districts, towns, or tribes had disappeared, so 
now the primitive freedom and diversity of 
individual Christians and local churches, al- 
ready circumscribed by the frequent struggles 
against heresy, was finally overborne by the 
idea of one visible catholic church, uniform in 
faith and ritual." "Holy Roman Empire," 
page 30. 

2. Jefferson, Unitarian, may not have gotten 
his scheme for our government from a Baptist 
Church, but he wrote a fine definition of 
church government. "Each church being 


free, no one can have jurisdiction over an- 
other one." "I cannot give up my guidance 
to the magistrate, because he knows no more 
the way to heaven than I do, and is less con- 
cerned to direct me right than I am to go." 
' ' The Writings of Thomas J ef f erson . ' ' Library 
Edition, Vol. XVII, 9. 

3. Professor Kurtz, in his monumental 
work, shows the equality of believers in the 
churches: "As in those Hellenic associations 
all ranks, even those which in civil society 
were separated from one another by impass- 
able barriers, found admission, and then, in 
the framing of statutes, the reception of 
fellow members, the exercise of discipline, 
possessed equal rights." "Church History," 
page 54. 

4. A Congregationalist author, in a recent 
illuminating book, when discussing the early 
churches in the Roman Empire, says: "These 
churches, for many years, were little inde- 
pendent democracies, with no special dis- 
tinctions between laity and clergy; there were 
no real clerical orders for a long time. Their 
officers were elective, and subject to removal 
by popular vote. The various churches were 


bound together by brotherly feelings, but no 
coercion was exercised by one church over 
others." "The Winning of Religious Liberty," 
by Joseph H. Crooker, page 18. 

Religious Liberty. 

1. Thomas Jefferson, to his neighbors, the 
members of the Baptist Church of Buck 
Mountain, in Albemarle, April 13, 1809: "We 
have acted together from the origin to the end 
of a memorable revolution, and we have con- 
tributed, each in the line alloted us, our en- 
deavors to render its issue a permanent bless- 
ing to our country. That our social inter- 
course may, to the evening of our days, be 
cheered and cemented by witnessing the free- 
dom and happiness for which we have labored, 
will be my constant prayer. Accept the offer- 
ing of my affectionate esteem and respect." 
He wrote five letters to Baptist churches and 

2. George P. Fisher, Professor at Yale: 
"A Baptist committee laid their complaints 
before the Massachusetts delegates in the 
first Continental Congress at Philadelphia. 
The support which the Baptist lent to the 


patriotic cause, and the proclamation of hu- 
man rights which was made on every hand 
won a hearing for their demands and rendered 
them, after tedious delays, successful. In 
Virginia Patrick Henry, Jefferson and Madi- 
son enlisted in their favor. In 1785 the 
statute of religious freedom was adopted, of 
which Jefferson deemed it a great honor to 
have been the author, by which intervention 
in matters of faith and worship was forbidden 
to the State. All denominations were thus 
put on a level, and none were taxed for the 
support of religion." "History of the Chris- 
tian Church," page 560. 

3. Parton, after mentioning the address 
from the Baptists to the Virginia Convention, 
August 16, 1775, petitioning that four Bap- 
tist ministers should be allowed to preach to 
Baptist soldiers, cites the Convention's resolu- 
tion which both granted the request and con- 
ceded the principle: "Resolved, That it be an 
instruction to the commanding officers of 
regiments or troops to be raised that they per- 
mit dissenting clergymen to celebrate divine 
worship, and to preach to the soldiers, or 
exhort, from time to time, as the various 


operations of the military service may per- 
mit, for the ease of such scrupulous con- 
sciences as may not choose to attend divine 
worship as celebrated by the chaplain." He 
then adds a striking sentence: "Thus began 
religious equality in Virginia." "Life of 
Thomas Jefferson," by Parton, page 174. 

4. Leonard Woolsey Bacon, Congregation- 
alist: Discussing the establishment of the 
American principle of the non-interference of 
the State with religion and the equality of all 
religious communions before the law, con- 
cludes: "So far as this work was a work of in- 
telligent conviction and religious faith, the 
chief honor of it must be given to the Baptists. 
Other sects, notably the Presbyterians, had 
been energetic and efficient in demanding 
their own liberties; the Friends and the Bap- 
tists agreed in demanding liberty of conscience 
and worship, and equality before the law, 
for all alike. But the active labor in this 
cause was mainly done by the Baptists. It 
is to their consistency and constancy in the 
warfare against the privileges of the powerful 
'Standing Order' of New England, and of the 
moribund establishments of the South that 


we are chiefly indebted for the final triumph 
in this country of that principle of the separa- 
tion of Church and State which is one of the 
largest contributions of the New World to 
civilization and to the church universal." 
"A History of American Christianity," page 

5. "In England, from the time of Henry 
Vni to William HI, a full century and a half, 
the Baptists struggled to gain their footing 
and to secure liberty of conscience for all. 
From 1611 they issued appeal after appeal, 
addressed to the King, the Parliament, and 
the people, in behalf of 'soul liberty,' written 
with a breadth of view and force of argument 
hardly since exceeded. Yet, until the Quakers 
arose in 1660, the Baptists stood alone in its 
defense, amid universal opposition * * * 
Among the Baptists Christian freedom found 
its earliest, its staunchest, its most consistent, 
and its most disinterested champion. * * * 
Not less powerful has been the influence of 
the Baptists in the United States. * * * 
Persecuted themselves, they never persecuted 
others. * * * Xhe paths of the Baptists 


are paths of freedom, pleasantness and peace." 
(Appleton's American Encyclopedia, Vol. II, 
page 293-f.) 


Joseph H. Crooker, Congregationalist : "The 
Baptists are the least sacramental and the 
most scriptural of the Protestant denomina- 
tions." "Winning of Religious Liberty," page 




We have been passing through unusual 
times. The war has changed many things — 
some for better and some for worse. The 
government has insisted upon the subordina- 
tion of everything else to one object, "the 
winning of the war." Right loyally have 
the people complied. They have surrendered 
their individual rights, sacrificed their own 
interests, and suppressed their own convic- 
tions in order that the government might have 
a free hand in carrying out its program. 
Where our people could not commend, they 
have kept silent. All this is indubitable proof 
of their patriotism. It is a refutation of the 
charge that democracy cannot co-ordinate 
and concentrate for a huge task. 

Such submission to governmental authori- 
ties in time of war, however, does not signify 
that we have ceased to think for ourselves; 
nor is it to be interpreted as indicating that 


we have forgotten our religious rights and 
privileges in the American system; nor does 
it mean that we have permanently foregone 
the guaranteed right of free speech. If we 
have submitted where protest was unavail- 
ing, it was only for the time being. Now that 
the war is practically over, we may, with pro- 
priety, and must, in justice to our conscience, 
give expression to our convictions. 

In general it may be said that the govern- 
ment in a military situation enters into a field 
in which it has no concern in normal civil life, 
namely, that of religion. Entering this field 
to meet a national emergency, the obligation 
is imperative to deal with all religious or- 
ganizations in a spirit of scrupulous equity. 
To practice or allow any discrimination in 
such case is just as much a violation of the 
principles of religious liberty as if the govern- 
ment were to attempt in civil life to regulate 
the religious life of the people. 

The government violated the priceless prin- 
ciple of "equal rights to all and special privi- 
leges to none" by admitting Roman Catholic 
organizations into the camps and excluding 
Episcopalians, Baptists, et al. The ground 


for this action, we have heard, was that the 
Y. M. C. A. represented the Protestant de- 
nominations, though accredited denomina- 
tional representatives were not consulted in 
the adoption of the plan. It ignored the fact, 
however, that to a Baptist his message is just 
as precious and vital as the creed of the Roman 
Catholic is to the Catholic. It permitted the 
denomination which stands for the authority 
of the "church" to have access to the soldiers, 
and denied that right to the denomination 
which stands for the authority of the Bible. 
It discriminated in favor of the Roman Catho- 
lics and against the Baptists and others. As 
an Episcopalian bishop recently said in my 
hearing, having his own denomination in 
mind: "The church should have the right to 
follow her children. The government called 
our children into the service and then said to 
the spiritual mother, 'You cannot follow and 
minister to them as a church.' " That, I 
say respectfully, was going beyond the govern- 
ment's real authority and violating the prin- 
ciple laid down in the Bill of Rights and in- 
corporated in the Constitution of the United 
States. It was a reversal of the policy of the 


government which permitted voluntary 
preaching to soldiers in the Revolutionary and 
Confederate Wars. 

Another instance of governmental meddling 
in religious and discrimination in favor of 
the Catholics was the order to merge the 
war service funds. If the Catholics were to 
be recognized as sufficiently separate and dis- 
tinct and apart from others to be given special 
privileges in the camps, why should they be 
united with others when a campaign was to be 
made for funds? Had the Baptists been per- 
mitted to have their buildings in the camps 
they would have erected them and main- 
tained them and would have provided the 
funds without asking the government or any- 
body else to aid them. The government gave 
access to the Catholics and denied it to the 
Baptists, and then violated its own rule, on 
which it admitted the Catholics, by lumping 
them with other war work activities when 
money was needed. Those who read know 
that this was not the original program, but 
that it was brought about after the Knights of 
Columbus held a meeting, in which they pro- 
tested to the government and in some way in- 


fluenced the President to change his mind and 
merge the funds. Why is it that Catholic 
protests are effective at the White House and 
Baptist protests are not? If the Baptists 
were not a people seven millions strong, if 
they were only one million or one thousand 
strong, that would not invalidate their rights 
under the Constitution. Fair treatment 
should be given to every denomination, irre- 
spective of its size. It is antagonistic to the 
very principle of separation of Church and 
State for any church, particularly the one 
which constantly meddles in State affairs, 
to be given preference by civil authorities. 
Baptists ask no special favors of the govern- 
ment; they ask only their inherent rights, 
their constitutional privileges, and they will 
be satisfied with nothing else. 

Gladstone once said that it was the duty 
of the government "to make it easy for people 
to do right." The government made it hard 
for Baptists to do their duty by the moral wel- 
fare of the men in the service, when it not 
merely approved, but practically originated 
and forced a joint campaign, by which Bap- 
tists had to give to Roman Catholic propa- 


ganda, or be misjudged by their fellow citizens 
as penurious, bigoted and unpatriotic. It is 
not the point to say that the United War Work 
Campaign was a success. The machinery 
employed in that campaign and the patriotic 
temper of our people would make anything 
a success. Success does not validate wrong 
or injustice. The Catholics should have 
made the effort alone in raising funds for their 
special work, since they had sought and se- 
cured recognition by the government as being 
distinct from all others. The truth is, their 
failure to secure the amount sought in their 
first campaign made them apprehensive lest 
they should fail in a second. They used the 
opportunity in the united campaign to ex- 
ploit their exaggerated numbers and proclaim 
their patriotism. They were the only ones 
in the joint meetings, so far as I heard, who 
had the poor taste to parade statistics and 
advertise the loyalty of their "church" in 
America. If some of us counted as they do, 
we would astound ourselves and others with 
startling statistics. 

There is no need to say that the Catholic 
organization in the camps was not a propa 


ganda. We know better. If it were not a 
propaganda, how did it come about that in 
one camp in the South a priest proselyted 
eighty-odd Protestant young men; that in 
another camp a priest strung beads around a 
dying Protestant in the hospital and received 
him into the Roman Catholic Church before 
he died ; that numbers of our young men whose 
eyes were open and who were alert to the in- 
sidious methods of Romanists have said per- 
sonally or in letters that the Catholics were 
working for their ends, and that outsiders 
did not realize what they were doing; that 
Romanist services in the camps were featured 
and a press publicity given to them out of 
proportion to their importance and sometimes 
to the disparagement and neglect of Protest- 
ant services? The government might have 
known, from the whole history of the Roman- 
ists, what they would do under the special 
rights granted them in the camps. Pro- 
fessing to discountenance sectarianism in the 
army, the government made the egregious 
blunder of admitting to special privileges the 
most sectarian of the sects. The Romanists 
could not be true to their religion without 


propaganda and proselytism. They think 
that all outside of their church are lost, 
whether they be Presbyterians, Methodists, 
or what not, and they are conscientiously 
bound to put forth every effort to bring all 
others into their church. 

Last of all came the proposal for a "Liberty 
Church" in the "Ordnance Reservations." 
These reservations are owned, or controlled, 
by the government for the making of ex- 
plosives. The government admitted the Ro- 
man Catholics and the Jews to these reserva- 
tions and said to all the other denominations, 
"You cannot come in except through the 
'Liberty Church.' " "Liberty" is a misnomer. 
The rules for governing that "Church" show 
that it represents anything but "liberty." 
It is so regulated and restricted that the con- 
stituent members do not control. It is also 
an attempt at amalgamation, and, as Bishop 
Thompson said in a conference at Newport 
News, there is danger of "chemical reaction." 

The government said bluntly that it is 
"impossible" to admit the denominations to 
these reservations. Why impossible? Take 
Penniman, for example — an ordnance reserva- 


tion six miles from Williamsburg, Virginia. 
One-half of the eight thousand people at 
Penniman were Baptists, or from Baptist 
families, or of Baptist inclination. They 
said so by cards which they signed in the re- 
ligious census of Penniman. Yet the Roman 
Catholics, who represented only a small per 
cent., were allowed to function at Penni- 
man, and the Baptists, who represented fully 
half of the people, were forbidden. The 
government urged people to move to these 
reservations and work on munitions. Bap- 
tists responded and took their wives and chil- 
dren and set up family life in the reservation, 
and the government prescribed that they 
should not have a church. Where is the 
common sense, or the law, or the justice in 
this? The government proposes to use cer- 
tain of these plants as industrial reservations 
and perpetuate the injustice to Baptists 
that it perpetrated in time of war. 

The promoter of the "Liberty Church," a 
very amiable and earnest gentleman, by the 
way, said, perhaps inadvertently, in the New- 
port News conference, that it was hoped that 
when the war was over there would come 


about from these "Liberty Churches" an 
interchange of church membership and open 
communion. The Baptist State Mission 
Board of Virginia sent a committee to the 
conference on the "Liberty Church," in- 
structed to present the following resolutions: 

1. We are earnestly desirous of co-operat- 
ing in every possible way in caring for the re- 
ligious life of the people in and round the 
ordnance reservations. 

2. We consider the proposed plan of the 
"Liberty Church" undesirable and im- 

3. In our judgment, if the denominations 
are not to be permitted to function separately 
in the reservations, the object aimed at can 
be better attained by and through the Y. 
M. C. A. 

4. We are ready to secure and contribute 
a fair percentage of such funds as may be 
necessary to support a Y. M. C. A. in each 
ordnance reservation. 

It developed that the Episcopalians were 
almost as averse to the "Liberty Church" as 
were the Baptists. A bishop referred to the 
government's infringement upon religious 


freedom for which they had fought and, turn- 
ing to a Baptist, he said, "and the Baptists 
also." We were glad to know that the Episco- 
palians were jealous for religious freedom and 
that they interpreted the proposal of the 
"Liberty Church" much as we did. It 
should make no headway. Why cannot the 
government see that It is best for the govern- 
ment and for the denominations and for all 
the people, to leave them free in the exercise of 
their religion? We shall prosper most under 
such a government. The denominations could 
function in a reservation of ten thousand 
people with as little friction as they do in a 
town of ten thousand people. If the govern- 
ment could only realize that it is not com- 
petent to manage the religion of the people 
it would escape many a blunder. 

More than ever is one convinced of the 
wisdom of the Baptist position and the 
necessity for presenting our views clearly and 
forcefully and fraternally. As we once took 
the lead in winning and establishing religious 
freedom we should now take the lead in clari- 
fying and preserving it. We might waive 
the declarations of our Baptist people under 


the old regime of religious oppression; we 
might leave others to narrate our struggles 
for entire separation of Church and State and 
confine the issue to just one question: "Shall 
the government abide by the will of the people 
as incorporated in the laws of the States and 
Nation?" On that issue we would submit 
that all the Bills of Rights provide for full 
freedom of religious opinion and worship, 
and for equality before the law of all religious 
denominations and their members; and many 
forbid the establishment of any particular 
church or sect, and declare that no public 
money ought to be applied in aid of any re- 
ligious body or sectarian institution. 

Furthermore, we would submit that the 
Constitution specifies that "Congress shall 
make no law respecting an establishment of 
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there- 
of." Congress is the only law-making body, 
and what it cannot do an official or depart- 
ment or board or an agent of the government 
cannot do. And what cannot be done di- 
rectly cannot be done indirectly. Yet, when 
four thousand Baptist people in an industrial 


reservation are told they cannot have a Bap- 
tist Church where they are asked by the gov- 
ernment to Hve and work, and when seven 
milHon Baptists are forbidden to minister 
to their members in the camps, it is both an 
evasion and a violation of the fundamental 
law of the land, by officials who have no con- 
stitutional prerogatives in the matter. When 
the government offers to build a church on 
government land for Roman Catholics it is 
appropriating public funds for sectarian pur- 
poses. When it forbids the Baptists to erect 
a building at their own expense in such a 
reservation it is destroying "the equality 
before the law of all religious denominations." 
A sentence from "Notes on Virginia" is as 
true now as it was in 1781 : "It is error alone 
which needs the support of government. 
Truth can stand by itself." It appears 
that some of the "powers that be" care noth- 
ing "for full freedom of religious opinion and 
worship." I am aware that religious free- 
dom is a civil right, and that in times of war 
necessities and emergencies may alter, for the 
time being, this risiit; but I am not aware of 


any authority in war or in peace for inequality, 
unfairness, and injustice towards any de- 
nomination or for governmental assumption 
of religious functions. 




Baptists are like the immortal marines — 
everyone is a volunteer. There is not a 
conscript among them. They should be 
more strongly bound together than any other 
religious group, because each one entered its 
bonds of his own accord. Common convic- 
tions cement them. They believe, therefore 
they speak and act. They are rooted and 
grounded in the New Testament. 

Their origin is scriptural. The first Bap- 
tist churches were the churches of the New 
Testament. It is not necessary to prove 
apostolic succession. It is of more import- 
ance to identify our churches to-day with 
those of the first century than it is to trace 
the history through the centuries when there 
was no recorded history. The woman was 
driven into the wilderness for a season (Rev. 
12:6). To illustrate: After the war General 
Lee lost a beautiful mare, whether strayed 


or stolen he did not know. He advertised 
for her, describing her color and size in detail. 
Deacon William Campbell, of Essex County, 
Virginia, read the advertisement and saw near 
his home an animal that exactly answered the 
description. He wrote General Lee, who sent 
his son from Lexington to investigate. As 
soon as he saw the animal he said, "That is 
father's mare." It was not at all necessary 
to follow the tracks of that mare from Lexing- 
ton to Essex. The main thing was to identify 
her with the one that was lost. The Baptist 
churches of the New Testament were local, 
independent, self-governing, democratic or- 
ganizations. The Baptists of to-day answer 
precisely to that description and they are the 
only such in Christendom. 

Their doctrines are scriptural. Two sym- 
bolic ordinances did Jesus establish and en- 
join — Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They 
are the most eloquent preachers God ever 
ordained. Baptism preaches a sermon under 
three divisions on the necessity for regenera- 
tion: (1) It speaks of the death, burial and 
resurrection of Christ; (2) it portrays the 
sinner's death and burial to sin and resurrec- 


tion to walk in newness of life ; (3) it prophesies 
that these bodies, after they are dead and 
buried shall rise again. It compasses the 
past, present and future. Nothing but im- 
mersion is adequate to this, and nothing but 
immersion is in the New Testament, the ablest 
Pedo-baptists themselves being witnesses. A 
minister preached a sermon in which he under- 
took to show that "in" and "into" did not 
mean immersion. He said, "John did not 
baptize Jesus in the Jordan, but close to, 
near by, round about Jordan. Philip and 
the Eunuch did not go down into the water, 
but close to, near by, round about." An 
Irishman in the congregation arose at the con- 
clusion of the sermon and said, "Your Rev- 
erence, your sermon to-day has brought me 
much comfort. It explains many mysteries 
which have long perplexed me. I could 
never understand how Jonah could live in 
the whale for three days and nights. Now 
I see that he was not in the whale, but close 
to, near by, round about, swimming in the 
water. The Bible says the three Hebrew 
children were cast into the fiery furnace and 
I wondered how they lived. You have ex- 


plained it. They were not actually in the 
furnace, but close to, near by, round about, 
where they could warm themselves. We 
read that Daniel was cast into the den of 
lions and why they did not devour him was a 
mystery to me. But he was not in the den 
at all, but only close to, near by, round about 
where he could hear them roar and feel no 
harm. Then, your Reverence, I am a very 
wicked man and have long been afraid of 
future punishment. You have relieved my 
apprehension. When the Bible says the 
wicked shall be cast into hell with all nations 
that forget God, I shall henceforth interpret 
it as meaning that I shall not actually go to 
hell, but only close to, near by, round about." 
That Irishman had the truth in his wit. It 
is perilous to explain away the Scripture. 

The Lord's Supper, the other ordinance, is 
a sermon under three divisions upon the aton- 
ing death of Jesus: (1) It says that Jesus died 
for our sins according to the Scriptures; (2) 
it emphasizes our spiritual subsistence on 
him; (3) it expresses the hope that he will 
come again. Like baptism, the supper com- 
passes the past, present and future. In its 


proper observance memory, faith and hope 
are operative. It is not a sacrament. It is 
emblematic of the atoning death of Jesus and 
preaches the doctrine of spiritual subsistence 
on him. When Jesus said, "This is my body," 
he no more meant his actual body than he 
meant a literal door when he said, "I am the 
door"; or a grape vine when he said, "I am 
the vine"; or a macadam road when he said, 
"I am the way." The Romanist doctrine of 
transubstantiation is untenable. How can an 
officiating priest change inert matter into both 
soul and deity when the Creator himself did 
not form man's soul from matter? If Christ 
died once for all, how can he die again every 
time the "mass" is celebrated? If Jesus 
ascended into heaven to remain there until 
the final restoration of all things, how can 
he be bodily present in the bread and wine? 
If Jesus meant what he said, "All ye drink 
of it," why does the priest withhold the cup 
from the people? Does not such practice 
violate the unity of the ordinance by exclud- 
ing the wine from laymen though Christ used 
both emblems to set forth his doctrine? 
Are not the worship and adoration of mere 


matter, bread and wine, as God, idolatry? 
Dr. J. R. Graves and a Catholic priest were 
debating the subject of the Lord's Supper. 
The Catholic priest argued that when the 
priest blessed the elements they became the 
actual flesh and blood of the Lord. In his 
rejoinder Dr. Graves held up a glass of wine 
and said to the priest: "When you bless this 
it becomes the blood of Christ. If the blood 
of Christ it cannot be contaminated?" The 
priest assented. Taking from his pocket a 
bottle of poison, Dr. Graves poured its con- 
tents into the wine and said to the priest: 
"You bless and drink half of this glass and I 
will drink the other half." The priest did 
not drink. 

Historically, the order of the ordinances 
was, first. Baptism, and then the Lord's 
Supper. Logically, it should be so, because 
birth, symbolized in baptism, comes before 
nourishment, symbolized in the Lord's Sup- 
per. Neither ordinance has any saving 
efficacy. They are for the saved, and by 
their scriptural observance we keep alive and 
promulgate vital truths of the gospel. We do 
not bury a man to kill him ; we bury him be- 


cause he is dead. We do not bury him by- 
sprinkling a little dirt on him; we put him 
under the ground. Had there been no per- 
version of the mode of baptism, there had been 
no question of restricted communion. Others 
must bear the responsibility for changing the 
meaning and mode and for the subsequent 

Their course has been consistent. For the 
simple truth of the New Testament they have 
stood, and suffered and died. In the Old 
World where the State controlled the church, 
as in England, or the church controlled the 
State, as in Rome, bonds, stripes, imprison- 
ment and execution were their lot. In the 
New World it was little better until the ac- 
ceptance of their principles made it so. The 
Episcopalians in Virginia and the Congre- 
gationalists in New England denied the free- 
dom of conscience. The Baptists suffered 
severely. Patrick Henry rode from Hanover 
County to Fredericksburg, fifty miles, with- 
out renumeration to defend three imprisoned 
Baptist preachers. His better known speech 
in old St. John's had no more of dramatic 
power and convincing effect than his defense 


of these preachers. He entered the court 
room during the reading of the indictment 
by the prosecutor. After the prosecutor 
ended his brief, Henry took the paper and 
launched into a speech which moved the 
audience to sighs and tears and evoked from 
the judge the order, "Sheriff, discharge these 
men." Read two paragraphs of that speech: 

"May it please Your Worship in a day like 
this, when Truth is about to burst her fetters; 
when mankind are about to be aroused to 
claim their natural and inalienable rights; 
when the yoke of oppression that has reached 
the wilderness of America and the unnatural 
alliance of ecclesiastical and civil power are 
about to be dissevered — at such a period 
when liberty, liberty of conscience, is about 
to wake from her slumberings and inquire 
into the reason of such charges as I find ex- 
hibited here to-day in this indictment — If I 
am not deceived — according to the contents 
of the paper I now hold in my hand — these 
men are accused of preaching the gospel of 
the Son of God. Great God! 

"May it please Your Worship, there are 
periods in the history of man when corruption 


and depravity have so long debased the hu- 
man character that man sinks under the 
weight of the oppressor's hand — becomes his 
servile, his abject slave. He licks the hand 
that smites him. He bows in passive obedi- 
ence to the mandates of the despot; and, in 
this state of servility, he receives his fetters 
of perpetual bondage. But, may it please 
Your Worship, such a day has passed. From 
that period when our fathers left the land of 
their nativity for these American wilds — 
from the moment they placed their feet upon 
the American continent — from that moment 
despotism was crushed, the fetters of dark- 
ness were broken and heaven decreed that man 
should be free — free to worship God accord- 
ing to the Bible. In vain were all their suffer- 
ings and bloodshed to subjugate this New 
World if we, their offspring, must still be 
oppressed and persecuted. But, may it please 
Your Worship, permit me to inquire once 
more. For what are these men about to be 
tried? This paper says for preaching the 
gospel of the Saviour to Adam's fallen race!" 

Joseph H. Crooker, Congregationalist, in 
his recent book, "Winning of Religious 


Liberty," discussing the persecution of the 
Baptists in Connecticut, says: "It was in 
many respects far more reprehensible than 
the punishment of the Quakers. The Bap- 
tists were then as now an exceedingly earnest, 
orderly, God-fearing people. There were 
many points of contact between them and the 
Congregationalists. But there was radical 
difference respecting baptism. They rejected 
infant baptism, not as a mystical right, but 
as a seal and symbol of conversion and be- 
cause they have a more generous view of God's 
providence and man's nature, children did not 
need to be christened to be saved from hell 

Governor Endicott, of Massachusetts, being 
asked by John Clarke what law of God or 
man he had broken, replied, "You have denied 
infant baptism and deserve death." Hezekiah 
Smith was "warned off from God's earth" by 
the sheriff of Haverhill, Mass. Two Baptist 
students were expelled from Yale College for 
attending the Baptist church at Canterbury, 
Conn,, during vacation. Baptist students at 
the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., are 
inconvenienced and hampered in their desire 


to attend a Baptist church. At present there 
is an unjust discrimination against all Protest- 
ant boys when they enter the academy. 
From June to October this plebe class are not 
permitted to attend any church service ex- 
cept at the naval chapel. The Catholic 
plebes are allowed to attend the Catholic 
church in the town. The worship at the 
naval chapel is Episcopalian in its form. The 
new superintendent has introduced the inno- 
vation this year, for the first time, of observ- 
ing "Lent." This is very trying, especially 
to Baptists, who, as the illustrious Christian 
philosopher and renowned astronomer Sir 
Isaac Newton is said to have frequently re- 
marked, "were the only Christians who had 
never symbolized with the Church of Rome." 
One marvels that the Secretary of the Na%^ 
does not right these wrongs. 

Through all the periods of religious perse- 
cution, of the union of Church and State, 
growing out of the heresy of infant baptism, 
there sounded one clear, consistent, coura- 
geous, convincing voice crying: "Render unto 
Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto 
God the things that are God's. The church 


is a spiritual body, the State is a secular 
body; you cannot unite the two without 
irreparable injury to both. The soul is free. 
Man's supreme duty is to God. The State 
cannot lay its finger upon the conscience." 
By and by that voice was heard and heeded. 
"And they overcame him because of the blood 
of the Lamb, and because of the word of their 
testimony, and they loved not their life, even 
unto death." The first government in the 
world that allowed full liberty of conscience 
from principle to all men was established by 
Baptists in Rhode Island. James Madison, 
graduate of Princeton and preparing for the 
Episcopal ministry, was so shocked by the 
mistreatment of Baptists and so moved by 
their preaching through prison bars that he 
abandoned the ministry and became the 
political apostle of religious freedom in Vir- 
ginia and America. The Baptists were the 
only denomination who supported him un- 
waveringly. Others helped in dis-establish- 
ment, but when it was proposed to assess 
taxes for all religious bodies, to use one of 
Billy Sunday's expressions, "They fell for 
it." Madison said the Presbyterian min- 


isters were "as ready to keep up an estab- 
lishment which is to take them in as they 
were to pull down that which shut them 
out." Baptists have never believed in, or 
countenanced, the union of Church and State. 
If all the people in Richmond were Baptists 
but one, that one would be as free in religion 
as the screaming sea gull of the sea. Aye, 
and if I were the only person in Richmond 
who held to believers' baptism, soul freedom, 
and a church polity of the people, for the peo- 
ple, and by the people, I would stand like 
Athanasius until a sufficient number con- 
curred in those fundamentals to organize a 
gospel church. 

Their mission has prospered. God has 
turned their misfortune into fortune. The 
Kaiser looked upon the ruddy, stern faces of 
countless American youths and inquired, 
"What ship brought so many of those Ameri- 
cans over here?" "The Lusitania, Your 
Majesty." Strange as it may sound, the 
persecution of the Baptists gave religious 
liberty to America. It drove Roger Williams 
into the wilderness where he could found the 
first free church in a free State in the history 


of the world. It awakened Jefferson and 
Madison and their co-laborers to the iniquities 
of the union of Church and State, and brought 
about dis-establishment. Dr. J. L. M. Curry 
was seated next to the British statesman 
John Bright at a dinner in London. Mr. 
Bright inquired, "What distinct contribution 
has America made to the science of govern- 
ment?" Dr. Curry thought a moment and, 
mindful of other democracies that had sprung 
up in Europe, replied, "The doctrine of re- 
ligious liberty." Bright thought a moment 
and remarked, "A tremendous contribution." 
Yes, it was the greatest contribution of the 
New World to the Old, of America to civiliza- 
tion, and it was pre-eminently a Baptist con- 
tribution. Bancroft correctly says: "Free- 
dom of conscience, unlimited freedom of 
mind, was from the first the trophy of the 

The most popular book of 1918, written 
by a Spaniard, contains this sentence, "The 
philosophy of modern democracy is lay- 
Christianity." That is a striking statement 
of the Baptist position. We reject and oppose 
sacerdotalism that puts a priest between a 


soul and God, sacramentarianism that makes 
the ordinance vehicles of grace, and ecclesias- 
ticism that puts a church between a sinner 
and salvation. We insist upon the right, 
ability and duty of each soul to approach God 
directly through the one mediator, Christ. 
We recognize no "orders" in the ministry 
and no such distinctions as "clergy" and 
"laity." All are brethren and equal in Christ. 
The application of the Baptist principle 
Avould abolish priestcraft and kingcraft. 

The world was convulsed for four years in 
a struggle for the rights of the people. The 
man who was in the recent conflict from the 
first, who perceived the issues more clearly 
than any other, whose frankness alarmed the 
Turks, and whose fearlessness heartened the 
Christians, whose courage infuriated the 
Hohenzollerns, and whose determination un- 
nerved the Hapsburgs, whose appeals kept the 
British workmen in the factories and placed 
Foch at the head of the allied armies, whose 
lips have voiced the most distinctly Christian 
sentiment of any peace envoy, whose heart 
beats in unison with the heart and whose hand 
joins with the hand of President Wilson in a 


pledge to punish the wrong-doers and bind 
the nations into a brotherhood that will 
cultivate peace and good will, instead of war 
and hate; that man is our Baptist brother, 
Lloyd-George. He said last year: "Tell the 
Baptists of America we are fighting for 
Baptist principles in this war." Are not 
these principles for which blood has been 
shed, and lives sacrificed, worth living for 
in America and in the world? 

The attitude of Baptists towards unionizing 
the denominations is simple and clear. We are 
ready to unite tomorrow upon the New Testa- 
ment as the sole authority of faith and prac- 
tice. In 1699 the Baptists of Philadelphia 
replied to a letter from the Episcopalians in- 
vitatory to a union that two things "abso- 
lutely necessary in order thereunto" must be 
shown from Holy Scripture: "First, that the 
foundation of your church, with all the orders, 
officers, rites and ceremonies are of divine 
institution"; second, "that you give us clear 
and infallible proof from God's holy word 
that our Lord Jesus Christ hath given power 
and authority to any man, men, convocation 
or synod to make, constitute and set up any 


Other laws, orders, officers, rites and cere- 
monies in his church, besides those which he 
hath appointed in his holy word; or to alter 
or change those which he hath therein ap- 
pointed." This Baptist reply remains un- 
answered to this day. We will never unite 
upon an extra and anti-scriptural program 
framed in New York or elsewhere, as directors 
would merge corporations. It is amusing 
to see the unionists set up their Procustean 
bed and begin lopping the large and stretch- 
ing the small to make all uniform. An Episco- 
pal bishop said in San Antonio some years 
ago: "There ought to be but three denomina- 
tions in the world: the Catholics, standing 
on one side for the authority of the church; 
the Baptists, standing on the other side for 
the authority of the Bible; all the other de- 
nominations should be united, for the differ- 
ence between them is the difference between 
tweedledum and tweedledee." He was cor- 
rect. There we take our stand and cannot 
surrender or compromise our convictions; nor 
would we have others do so. Jesus did not 
pray for organic church union when he prayed 
that prayer in the seventeenth chapter of 


John that "all might be one." They were 
all baptized believers. They were one or- 
ganically. They had uniformity without 
unity of spirit. Jesus prayed for unity of 
spirit, for freedom from rivalries, jealousies, 
animosities and antipathies. We pray the 
same prayer and seek to answer it by en- 
deavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in 
the bonds of peace. Though we speak the 
truth, sometimes the unwelcome truth, we 
do so in love. 

Their attitude towards governmental in- 
terference is now what it was in 1776, viz., 
religion is not within the purview of the civil 
power. The question is not, "Is religion 
necessary to the well-being of the State?" 
but, "Is religion advanced by government 
control or interference?" The third assistant 
secretary of war went beyond the proper 
bounds when he affirmed "the whole desire 
of the department is in the interest of break- 
ing down, rather than emphasizing denomi- 
national distinction." It is none of the gov- 
ernment's affair how many denominations 
there are so long as they obey the Constitu- 
tion of the United States. The government's 


only concern with them is to see that they 
enjoy their guaranteed rights. The war de- 
partment did an unconstitutional thing when 
it denied Baptists the right to minister to 
their young men in the camps. It did an 
unjust thing when it granted to the Catholics 
what it had denied to the Baptists. It did 
an unwise thing when it compelled and con- 
fined us to service through an organization 
that combined moving pictures, dancing, 
boxing, merchandise, social welfare, and re- 
ligion, and which refused in some huts to 
allow a minister to call sinners to public pro- 
fession of faith in Jesus Christ. The soldiers 
should know that while we gave our money 
freely, we had no voice or choice in the way it 
was expended. The government should know 
that the rights we waived In war times we 
still hold tenaciously and now proclaim fear- 
lessly. The experience of history teaches that 
whenever the government has touched re- 
ligion it has corrupted it. The logical end 
is the definition by the government of what 
the privileged may preach. This no Baptist 
can accept. 

It behooves us to read again our history, 


to baptize our minds afresh in our immortal 
principles, and to contend earnestly, though 
lovingly, for the "faith which was once for 
all delivered unto the saints." "With malice 
towards none and charity towards all; with 
faith in the right as God gives us to see the 
right"; asking nothing for ourselves that we 
do not concede to all others; regarding every 
soul as a human brother and every saved soul 
as a Christian brother; with loyalty to the 
truth as it is incorporated in the New Testa- 
ment and with allegiance to Jesus Christ, our 
only Lord, 

"We lift our banner to the air, 
And swear to guard our legacy." 




"Unto whomsoever much is given, of him 
shall much be required." The principles of 
Baptists commit them to a large program. 
The whole gospel for the whole world is that 
program. No people profess more by their 
doctrines. We are under obligations to match 
profession with practice. The world, Chris- 
tian and non-Christian, has a right to demand 
works as proof of our faith. Unless we can 
show results we must give place to those who 
can. This is not merely a cold, commercial 
rule; it was the acid test of Jesus: "By their 
fruits ye shall know them." The truth is 
not to be wrapped in a napkin for safe- 
keeping; in such manner will it be lost. The 
truth is to be promulgated. The Providence 
church suffered for energetic leadership and 
vigorous evangelism and lost its existence. 
The Newport church was blessed with ag- 


gressive leadership and evangelistic passion 
and remains a fount of healing. 

Jordan marked the beginning of Christ's 
ministry. The three busiest, most useful 
years ever lived on earth followed his baptism 
by John. They were years crowded with 
praying, teaching, preaching, healing, saving. 
He trained the disciples in the lessons of the 
kingdom and then commanded them to go 
work everywhere under the power he would 
send upon them. They stayed until persecu- 
tion thrust them forth. Then they went 
everywhere preaching the word. Multitudes 
were saved; churches sprang up like magic, 
old systems of error crumbled, and the empire 
was converted from the worship of Caesar 
to the worship of Christ. 

Jesus' command to go "make disciples" 
is as binding as his command to "baptize"; 
and it comes first. When all Baptists are 
as insistent on the "go" as some are on the 
"baptize" they will conquer the world for 
Christ. That is to say, their mission will be 
fulfilled when orthopraxy equals orthodoxy. 
This is not to decry orthodoxy. It is folly 
to proclaim unless one has a vital doctrine 


to announce; but woe to him who has such 
a doctrine and neglects its proclamation! 
He may hear Jesus say: "Cast ye the un- 
profitable servant into outer darkness; there 
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 

A Baptist who is not missionary to the heart 
of his being and to the tips of his fingers 
denies the faith and is no Baptist at all. 
Nor is he Christian. Anti-missionary Chris- 
tian is a misnomer. Anti-missionary is anti- 
Christ; for the only Christ we know is the 
Christ of the gospels and he embraced the 
"world" in his plan of salvation. You muti- 
late the gospel when you confine it to one na- 
tion, race or hemisphere, or to the "elect" of 
the earth. Calvinism is a comforting, strength- 
ening doctrine, but ultra-Calvinism is a blight. 
Our duty is to invite all to salvation and leave 
God to do the drawing. Spurgeon was right : 
"The question for me is not, are the heathen 
lost without the gospel, but am I saved if I 
have the gospel and fail to give it to them." 
The old negro had a very practical and scrip- 
tural doctrine. Asked if he believed in elec- 
tion, he answered: "Yes, but I hab noteeced 


ain't no man been 'lected ter office whut 
wan't er candedate." 

Stinginess is the root of much "omission- 
aryism." Such people love money more 
than they love lost souls. God created the 
world out of nothing; He made order out of 
chaos; He formed man out of the dust of the 
ground; He caused water to gush forth from 
the rock; He performed every kind of miracle; 
but even God, with all His power, cannot use 
a stingy man or woman. Covetousness dries 
up the fountains of spirituality and parches 
the life with barrenness; it shrivels the soul; it 
mars the countenance; it paralyzes religious 
energy; it makes men idolaters; it bars the 
gates of heaven; it smoothes the way and 
opens the portals to hell. Bad everywhere, 
it is worse when it attaches to the minister. 
He becomes a "watch dog" for his church. 
He pleads their poverty, the pressure of local 
demands, the multiplicity of outside calls, 
the untimeliness of the present object. He 
becomes captious about methods, expenses, 
waste, management, persons. All the time 
he is holding up a mirror in which every one 
but himself sees himself. "Not greedy of 


filthy lucre," was one of Paul's qualifications 
of a pastor. 

American Baptists are being weighed in the 
balances of material prosperity. Our people 
share in the unprecedented prosperity of the 
country. They possess conveniences and com- 
forts, and many of them enjoy luxuries. 
Very well, so long as their spiritual growth 
keeps pace with their material growth. John 
had a standard for a Christian's wealth : 
"Beloved, I pray above all things that thou 
mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy 
soul prospereth." He prayed for the good 
health and financial success of Gains, but 
only "as" his soul prospered. The thought 
is similar to that in the prayer "forgive us 
our debts as we forgive our debtors." The 
measure of the divine forgiveness is com- 
mensurate with the human forgiveness. So 
the degree of temporal prosperity is to be 
proportionate to that of spiritual prosperity. 
Sam Jones said, "No man worth more than 
$50,000 can be saved." That is purely 
arbitrary. A man may have as much prop- 
erty as he acquires honestly and uses right- 
eously. Baptists successfully triumphed over 


State and Church persecution. What shall 
be the issue of the conflict with prosperity? 
Only as they "seek first the kingdom of God," 
only as they administer their wealth as trus- 
tees of their Lord, only as they grow in 
liberality as they increase in worldly goods 
will they emerge victorious. The law of 
giving is as obligatory upon the boy making 
fifty dollars a month as it is upon the man 
making fifty hundred. It is a larger law than 
tithing and should yield more than the mere 
tithe. Every one, young and old, rich and 
poor, male and female, is to give systematical- 
ly and weekly as "the Lord has prospered." 
When we are as scriptural in giving as we are 
in baptizing we will be the most efficient 
denomination in Christendom. Pastors will 
be freed from temporal things to give them- 
selves to prayer and the ministry of the word. 
They will preach with greater power when a 
generous support relieves them of financial 
embarrassment. The ranks of the ministry 
will be recruited, not indeed by hirelings, 
but by young men called of God to preach 
and encouraged by a denomination that does 
not "muzzle the ox that treadeth out the 


corn." The stakes will be strengthened in 
the home land and the cords lengthened in 
foreign lands. Mission and Educational 
Boards will have funds ample for their needs 
and the kingdom of God will be established 
in the earth. My soul exults in the thought! 
A mighty host of New Testament Christians 
impassioned with zeal for Christ and love for 
the lost, holding all they have as under 
tribute to their King, counting not their lives 
dear unto themselves, finishing their ministry 
with joy and blessing! 

The alternative causes my soul to shudder. 
A people strong in doctrine and numbers 
but flabby in deeds and efficiency. A tree, 
large of trunk and beautiful of foliage, but a 
cumberer of the ground. A light to shine 
to the remotest corners of the earth, but 
"light become darkness." A well of water 
to spring up to eternal life but the waters are 
dried up and the thirst unquenched. A sea 
for boats and fishes, for joy and trade, but 
with no outlet until its waters are dead and 
its shores are salt. 


"I looked upon a sea, and lo! it was dead, 
Although by Hermon's snows and Jordan fed! 
How came a fate so dire? The tale's soon told; 
All it got it kept, and fast did hold. 

"AH tributary streams found here their grave. 
For this sea received, but nothing gave. 
Oh! sea that's dead, teach me to know and feel 
That selfish grasp and greed my doom will seal." 

The war demonstrated America's ability 
to mobilize quickly vast resources of men and 
materials. The churches were active in that 
mobilization. The fact is, the government 
called and relied greatly upon the churches to 
counteract enemy propaganda, to awaken 
patriotism, to facilitate enlistment, to aid 
food conservation, to subscribe to government 
bonds and war savings stamps, and to con- 
tribute to Red Cross, War Work Council, 
and Syrian and Armenian Relief. Baptist 
churches, as others, rallied to the call. They 
never wearied or counted the cost. It is to 
their everlasting credit. They must now key 
themselves to the spiritual notes of the king- 
dom as they did to the martial notes of 
democracy. They must combine and direct 
on missions and Christian education the 


tremendous energies they readily directed 
upon war. The task of the Baptists is to 
bring their thoughts, made capacious by 
world problems, into captivity to Christ; to 
harness loosened powers to kingdom enter- 
prises. May it not be that providential events 
are preparing us for the program of Jesus, 
"into all the world," "unto all the nations." 

President Wilson has become the world 
spokesman for political democracy. In out- 
lining to Congress the aims before America 
in the war, he mentioned three principles 
that are particularly dear to Baptists: (1) 
the rights of the small nations; (2) the right 
of every people to determine their own form 
of government and to choose their rulers; (3) 
the safety of the world for democracy. These 
are cherished and immemorial Baptist prin- 
ciples. (1) Among us the smallest church 
has equal rights with the largest church; 
the youngest church member has equal rights 
with the oldest; (2) every church governs its 
own affairs and determines its co-operation; 
every individual not only has the privilege, 
but is under the imperious duty of determin- 
ing for himself his religion and choosing his 


church; (3) our whole history expounds the 
doctrines of democracy — the rule of a majority 
of the people; and we have striven to create 
conditions in which that doctrine could live 
and flourish. 

A practical question for the nations and 
Baptists is, "What type of democracy is 
safe for the world?" Drunk with the new 
wine of freedom, long suppressed peoples of 
Europe are destroying every right of prop- 
erty and violating every form of law. So 
quickly have they come into power that they 
squander it like prodigal heirs suddenly 
possessed of a large estate. Democracy to 
unenlightened, lawless people is like a razor 
in the hands of a child. Baptists have two 
advantages in the changing order: (1) their 
type of democracy is that of Jesus and Paul; 
(2) they are experienced in its administration. 
The first time in history the word "de- 
mocracy" occurs in a civil document is when 
John Clarke wrote it in the preamble and act 
of incorporation of the Providence Planta- 
tions: "The form of government established 
in Providence Plantations is democratic, that 
is to say, a government held by the free and 


voluntary consent of all or the greater part 
of the free inhabitants" ; * * * "the gov- 
ernment which this body politic doth attend 
unto in this Island * * * is a democracy, 
or popular government." That was the first 
opportunity of Baptists to form a government 
on their plan. The administration of that 
democracy was in the interest of public order. 
A distinction between civil and religious 
offenses was carefully guarded. Citizenship 
was refused the anarchist Gorton. Religious 
freedom does not mean fanaticism; civil 
freedom does not mean anarchy. Baptists 
can never be Bolshevists, nor countenance 
any such. Baptists hold that freedom of 
action is delimited by the rights of others 
and license is regulated by. law; property is 
sacred and the person is inviolable. 

Baptists must promote education so that 
intelligence will be the handmaid of experi- 
ence. Baptists are the last of all the denomi- 
nations to depreciate learning. Where one 
man, or group of men, governs, their wisdom 
may guide affairs aright. Where the people 
govern it is essential that the masses shall be 
enlightened in order to rule wisely and well. 


Primary education, State education, Denomi- 
national education find in us firm friends. 
We only insist that what is taught shall be 
knowledge, not speculation; constructive, not 
destructive; that denominational schools shall 
be Christian in fact, not in name alone. To 
make sure of the future we must put a pre- 
mium upon Christian education. A denomi- 
nation without its system of schools and col- 
leges and theological seminaries is a denomi- 
nation without a future. Baptists should 
never forget that the founder of those little 
Christian democracies that dotted the shores 
of the Mediterranean was the best educated 
man of his time ; and that a Greek Testament 
in the hand of a college graduate was the im- 
mediate cause of the organization of the Bap- 
tist denomination in America. 

Times change, but principles are eternal 
and admit of application to all conditions. 
We must so teach and exemplify our doc- 
trines as to make them attractive and power- 
ful. Autonomous church government relates 
itself to other like bodies and forms a co- 
operating group. The spiritual significance 
of the ordinances constitutes their highest 


value ; spirituality in individuals and churches 
vitalizes the ordinances. On one side of the 
shield is "Preservation of the Saints"; on the 
other is "Let every one that hath this hope 
in him purify himself even as he is pure." 
Salvation by grace imposes a debt of grati- 
tude upon the beneficiary which is discharged 
only by its zealous proclamation. Sanctifica- 
tion is a process in which believers grow in 
grace unto perfection attained when they 
"awake in his likeness." In the doing of 
these things we both save ourselves and them 
that hear us. The love that seeks and finds 
flows from the redeemed in streams of 
sympathy and service. 

The upheaval over the earth obliterated 
much hoary injustice but left conditions un- 
settled, even chaotic. These present a chal- 
lenging opportunity. For Baptists to waver 
now would be criminal ; for them to surrender 
would be suicidal. We may profit by the 
example of the American forces in the great 
Niagara of war. The general temper of that 
army was sacrificial and heroic. From the 
hour General Pershing offered to Genera 
Foch all that America had in France, and the 


larger numbers who were coming, from that 
hour the clouds began to lift. The day we 
lay our all upon the altar of Christ to be used 
as he directs will be the day when the kingdom 
will come with power. 

We may learn also from the method of 
training the American army. Some attention 
was given to defense, but much more to 
offense. Therein is the real secret of the 
Americans' signal success. They went to 
Europe to drive the Germans out of France 
and Belgium. General Bundy sounded the 
note that won the war. On being ordered 
by a superior officer at Chateau -Thierry to 
retreat, he replied: "Retreat! We have just 
come. We came not to retreat, but to ad- 

"Is this the time, O Church of Christ, to sound 
Retreat? To arm with weapons cheap and blunt 
The men and women who have borne the brunt 

Of Truth's fierce strife, and nobly held their ground? 

Is this the time to halt, when all around 
Horizon's lift, new destinies confront, 
Stern duties wait our nation, never wont 

To play the laggard, when God's will was found? 


"No! rather strengthen stakes and lengthen cords. 
Enlarge thy plans and gifts, O thou elect, 
And to thy kingdom come for such a time! 

The earth with all its fullness is the Lord's. 

Great things attempt for Him, great things expect, 
Whose love imperial is, Whose power sublime."